Unanimous vote to establish a Rural Fire Brigade on North Stradbroke Island

Monday, 28 Jul 2014

The RFBAQ was contacted in early May by concerned residents on North Stradbroke Island regarding their January fires, and that they didn't have a local Volunteer Rural Fire Brigade.

Following long consultation with stakeholders and residents on North Stradbroke Island, the RFBAQ approached Assistant Minister for Emergency Volunteers Ted Malone MP seeking Government support for the call of a Public Meeting for the formation of a Rural Fire Brigade.

Saturday 26th July saw the Public Meeting held at the Dunwich Public Hall where almost 100 island residents met to discuss the proposal. Welcome to Country was from Aunty Joan Hendricks with the meeting co-chaired by Barry Hoare, long standing island resident and Ted Malone MP.

The community asked many questions of the panel which included A/Deputy Commissioner Bryan Cifuentes, Inspector Neil Kelso and Dr Mark Robinson MP who is the local Member of Parliament, before the vote to establish a brigade was held.

One of the key points that was constantly discussed throughout the meeting was that the regime of hazard reduction burning on the island was inadequate and that one of the most important roles of the new brigade should be for pre-season burning.

The Rural Fire Service Queensland recruitment stand was swamped with potential volunteers following the meeting and 25 community members registered their immediate interest in wearing the yellow coat and joining the brigade.

From here the RFBAQ will supply the meeting convenors with a draft copy of the minutes and a draft letter of application for the formation of a Rural Fire Brigade on North Stradbroke Island which will be submitted to Commissioner Lee Johnson, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

If registration is approved, a General Meeting of the brigade will be called no earlier than one month from registration and no later than three months for the election of a 1st Officer and office bearers of the new brigade. This meeting will be chaired by Inspector Neil Kelso, Rural Fire Service Queensland with the minute taking supplied by the RFBAQ.

The RFBAQ will continue to support the community on North Stradbroke Island in the formation of this brigade.

The establishment of this brigade truly exemplifies how the RFBAQ works with all stakeholders to ensure that the best interests of communities and brigades are met throughout Queensland.

ABC TV coverage - http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-27/stradbroke-island-residents-call-for-more-fire/5627558

Redland City Bulletin - http://www.redlandcitybulletin.com.au/story/2443460/straddie-residents-back-rural-fire-brigade-plan-for-island/?cs=212

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