Queensland Shadow Minister for Fire, Emergency Services and Volunteers, and Member for Gregory, Lachlan Millar, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud and AgForce CEO Michael Guerin.
Queensland Shadow Minister for Fire, Emergency Services and Volunteers, and Member for Gregory, Lachlan Millar, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud and AgForce CEO Michael Guerin. Aden Stokes

Bushfire review: 'What do they have to hide?'

THE devastating fires faced by Queensland drew Agriculture Minister David Littleproud to Rockhampton last week to listen to those most affected.

The Federal Government has instigated a parliamentary review into the Queensland bushfires and the impacts caused by the State Government's vegetation management laws, park management and forestry management.

He said if the State Government wasn't prepared to stand up and give answers to primary producers and fire personnel who put their lives on the line then the Federal Government has to stand up and "take the breach".

"We will have the review up and going early next year, I will have the recommendations back to us by April and I intend to hold the State Government to account for the truth and proof that will be provided in that," he said.

"The wisdom and knowledge has been learned by the primary producers on the ground and also those emergency services personnel that fought these fires."

Mr Littleproud said if the State Government was serious about protecting Queenslanders and the future of agriculture they would instigate this themselves.

AgForce CEO Michael Guerin said the fires had a devastating impact on affected communities.

"We've had people spend 8-10 days using their own diesel and machinery fighting those fires," Mr Guerin said.

"It is critical we have a truly independent review of what caused this disaster, so we have the best chance of it not repeating itself in the future."

A state government spokesperson said changes to vegetation management legislation had not changed the way farmers and property owners could use backburning and firebreaks to protect properties.

"What we saw during those 10 days was an unprecedented weather event that contributed to these catastrophic fires," the spokesperson said.

"Record temperatures day after day, high winds and an extended dry season led to the perfect storm of bushfire conditions.

"In the six months after the Palaszczuk Government's vegetation management laws were enacted, more than 15,000 fire permits were activated across Queensland - an increase of more than 2,000 on the same period a year earlier.

"The Office of the Inspector-General Emergency Management is conducting an examination of the fires."

Mr Littleproud said the State's review amounted to "their agencies talking to other agencies within the State Government about what happened".

"The impacts of vegetation management and the management of national parks and forestry all have to be put under the microscope and if they don't, what do they have to hide?" he said.

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