Bushfire refuges identified

TWO safe places to run to if residents are forced to flee from fire during the coming bushfire season have been identified in the Bundaberg region.

They are the Moore Park Bicentennial Oval and the Woodgate Sports Ground.

The two are the first sites in the region identified as Neighbourhood Safer Places (NSP).

Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts said NSP were being identified and rolled out throughout the state ahead of this year’s bushfire season.

Mr Roberts said an NSP was an identified place of last resort where residents could congregate in the event of a bushfire.

“The establishment of Neighbourhood Safer Places was one of the recommendations from the interim findings of the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission,” Mr Roberts said.

“The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) requires NSP locations to meet selection criteria to qualify, which is valid for one year.

“This means not every community will have a suitable location or the need for a location.”

Mr Roberts said NSP were assessed using strict guidelines and calculation.

“The QFRS will reassess the suitability and accessibility of these nominated sites on an annual basis, prior to the start of each bushfire season,” he said.

Mr Roberts said details of NSP were being progressively uploaded to the Rural Fire Service website, categorised into local council areas.

“The website also displays any local fire bans in place by local council area,” he said.

“I encourage Queenslanders to regularly check the website for any updates on NSP locations.”

Mr Roberts said it was important to note that residents in bushfire prone areas should also be preparing a bushfire survival plan and NSP should only be accessed if their bushfire plan failed.

The key message for the coming bushfire season was Prepare Act Survive, which highlighted that leaving early was always the best option, he said.

The Rural Fire Service is urging Bundaberg region residents to prepare a bushfire survival plan.

A spokesman said the plan should contain details of how residents would prepare for bushfires and what action they would take if they were threatened by one.

Your bushfire survival plan details how you’ll prepare and what action you will take if threatened by a bushfire.

During a large-scale event, the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service would not be able to place a fire truck at every property so it was important to have a solid bushfire plan in place.

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