Moreton Bay islands' fire report to be tabled at council meeting

PROTESTING ISLANDERS: Moreton Bay Combined Islands Association chairman Greg Hartay-Szabo. He is concerned about safety planning for evacuation of people from fires and the need for hazard reduction burns.
PROTESTING ISLANDERS: Moreton Bay Combined Islands Association chairman Greg Hartay-Szabo. He is concerned about safety planning for evacuation of people from fires and the need for hazard reduction burns.

A QUEENSLAND Fire and Emergency Services report on how Redland City Council performed during fires on Russell Island late last year has been completed.

Council is expected to table and debate the report at its general meeting Wednesday, July 26.

QFES was asked to review council arrangements after fires on Russell Island in December last year and Macleay Island in November.

Locals complained bitterly that there were no proper evacuation means for residents, the disaster management plan was inadequate and called for more hazard reduction burns.

It led to protests outside council headquarters at Cleveland.

Moreton Bay Combined Islands Association chairman Greg Hartay-Szabo said at the time that land owners had been criticised  by council for a lack of hazard reduction work while a large number of blocks were council owned and needed maintenance.

He said vegetation by-laws often prohibited private owners from carrying out basic safety clearing of trees and undergrowth.

There also was no helipad on the southern end of Russell.

Council has since held education sessions for islanders and it is understood to have instituted a range of changes, some of which have been recommended by QFES officers.

QFES has looked at the number of prescribed burns and access issues.