Page 18 - Smoke Signals Autumn/Winter 2017
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2018 Commonwealth Games
By Ayla Curtis, Project Manager Emergency Services Volunteering, Commonwealth Games Office
Thanks for letting us know!
Many thanks to all RFS members that recently completed the participation survey released by the QFES Commonwealth Games Office (CGO) for the XXI Commonwealth Games which will be held on the Gold Coast from 4-15 April 2018 (GC2018). The results are currently being collated and will assist the CGO planning to ensure that QFES is appropriately prepared to respond to normal business activities or any major events during the Games period.
If you missed the survey deadline, were unsure what your plans would be during the Games period or your plans have changed you will have opportunity to keep us informed; with a second survey planned prior to GC2018.
Volunteer with QFES
There will be opportunities to volunteer with the QFES deployment for GC2018 in your capacity as a Rural Fire Brigade
(RFB) member. Due to accommodation and transport restrictions, opportunities for RFBs to participate in GC2018 deployment is limited to members in South East Queensland.
These roles are not yet finalised, however the types of roles that may be available include:
• Course stewards/observers for road events (marathon, cycle race, cycle time trial, mountain bikes)
• Event management team
• Staging and logistics support
• Dedicatedresponseteamsfor‘business as usual’ events
The commitment required will depend on the role, but may range from one day only, to a number of days.
More information about GC2018 roles and recruitment will be available in the coming months via the QFES website, volunteer portal and through your regional offices.
RFBAQ Requests Changes to Vegetation Management Act
20 March 2017
Hon. Jackie Trad MP
Deputy Premier, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Trade and Investment
PO Box 15009
Dear Minister
The Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland (RFBAQ) is the volunteer driven organisation that represents the 1,400 Rural Fire Brigades that defend 93% of Queensland. The elected volunteer brigade representatives passed a resolution that I write to you voicing our proposal to make homes safer from bushfire by minor amendments to existing legislation.
The specific sections that we would like to work with your Government in looking to amend deal specifically with the Vegetation Management Act 1999 and Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA).
Some activities are exempt from requiring vegetation clearing development approvals under the SPA. These clearing activities are identified in Schedule 24 of the SPR.
The current fire safety related clearing exemptions on freehold and leasehold land include:
1. An activity under the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990, section 53, 68 or 69; or
2. To establish or maintain a necessary firebreak to protect infrastructure other than a fence, road or vehicular track, if the maximum width of the firebreak is equivalent to 1.5 times the height of the tallest vegetation adjacent to the infrastructure, or 20m, whichever is greater; or
3. For establishing a necessary fire management line if the maximum width of the clearing of the fire management line is 10m; or
4. Necessary to remove or reduce the imminent risk that the vegetation poses of serious personal injury or damage to infrastructure; or
5. By fire under the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 to reduce hazardous fuel load.
Items 2 to 5 above are part of Essential Management which is identified at Schedule 24, part 2, item 2(c) of the SPR for freehold land and schedule 24, part 2, item 4(1)(b) of the SPR for leasehold land.
The RFBAQ’s position is that the clearing to a maximum on to 1.5 times the height of the tallest vegetation adjacent to the infrastructure, or 20m, whichever is greater does not necessarily provide for a safe space/defendable space from bushfire in coastal heathland/wallum vegetation that is extremely combustible yet not particularly tall. Much of the expansion of housing in south east Queensland is taking place in or near these vegetation types.
The other concern that the RFBAQ has is in regards to the lack of allowance for the fact that fire travels faster uphill on an increasing scale.
As a general rule, for every 10 degrees of slope, the forward rate of spread of the fire doubles. This equates to a fire that is travelling at 100 meters per hour on flat land increasing to travelling at 400 meters per hour on a slope of 20 degrees.
This fact means that some houses, while meeting the maximum allowable cleared area may not necessarily have a safe space / defendable space from bushfire.
We request a meeting with yourself, members of your staff and appropriate Departmental Officers to allow us to elaborate our specific concerns and to work together to find a realistic and practical outcome that ensures landholders are able to make adequate provision to keep their homes and families safe without unduly sacrificing the environment.
Justin Choveaux
General Manager
Rural Fire Brigades Association Qld
CC Hon. Mark Ryan MP, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services

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