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    Acting Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services
    The Honourable John McVeigh

    Firefighters thanked for their work on Stradbroke

    Acting Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services
    The Honourable John McVeigh

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

    Firefighters thanked for their work on Stradbroke

    Acting Police, Fire and Emergency Services Minister John McVeigh has extended his thanks to the urban, auxiliary and volunteer firefighters who put their lives on the line to fight the bushfire on Stradbroke Island. 

    Mr McVeigh said both urban and rural fire crews had done a magnificent job of battling the intense blaze which burned for more than two weeks. 

    “It is through their hard work, skill and dedication that no lives or homes were lost during this massive fire, despite the loss of 16,200 hectares of land,” Mr McVeigh said.

    “On behalf of the Newman Government I would like to extend my thanks to the 438 urban, auxiliary and rural firefighters who risked their lives to help protect other Queenslanders and their properties.”

    Mr McVeigh said the Newman Government was working to revitalise the Rural Fire Service of Queensland through the implementation of the Malone Review.

    “The Rural Fire Service in Queensland has suffered from the neglect of successive Labor Governments over more than 20 years and the Malone Review will ensure the more than 34,000 volunteer rural firefighters have a system which helps them do their job,” Mr McVeigh said.

    “The Newman Government is committed to ensuring Queensland has the best rural fire service in the country – a rural fire service Queenslanders can be proud of.”

    Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Lee Johnson said the response was testament to the high level of skill, organisation and capabilities of all involved.

    “I commend and thank every person involved for their professionalism, commitment and dedication to keeping the people of North Stradbroke Island safe,” Mr Johnson said.

    “These fires came with a unique set of challenges and often burnt in difficult terrain but effective planning and execution of these plans kept the fire from destroying lives and property.”

    Mr Johnson said the communication between operational services and the island’s inhabitants was a key to the success of keeping people safe.

    “Every step of the way, each agency made it a clear priority to keep the community informed of the situation and updated on any action they needed to take,” he said.

    “Community cooperation was integral in ensuring firefighting efforts were able to be performed effectively and safely.”

    “We will now re-assess our performance over the last fortnight and use the operation as a learning tool to continue to improve firefighting practices in the future.

    “Our goal is to protect the community and our crews and one of the best ways we do this is look back on major operations and learn from our experiences to improve safety to Queenslanders.”

    [ENDS] 13 January 2014

     Media Contacts: Lea Emery 0417 226 114 or Kate Haddan 0418 373 516