Noosa resident Paul Birch took this photo of a fallen tree and dead vegetation in Pinaroo Park he fears will be a fire hazard come drier weather.
Noosa resident Paul Birch took this photo of a fallen tree and dead vegetation in Pinaroo Park he fears will be a fire hazard come drier weather.

Inner town park “a fire bomb” in waiting

FROM the entrance this parkland in Noosa Junction looks like a green sanctum but a nearby resident fears it’s a fireball in waiting and come the next dry spell could well erupt.

Paul Birch wants Noosa Council to begin removing the dead trees and “enormous’ amount of dried out vegetation littering the ground.

“Pinaroo Park has been in a parlous state for many years,” Mr Birch said.

“In the event of another bushfire there is a strong possibility that this dry vegetation would provide plenty of very combustible fuel to carry the fire into the bordering major shopping centre and the surrounding houses and multistorey blocks of residential units.

“It would be prudent to review their hazard reduction policy before a disaster strikes,” he said.

And Mr Birch is concerned that the “rank pond and rotting vegetation in the park is creating another hazard – a cane toad plague.

He said after 10 years of living nearby he has seen about four toads in his garden, until recently when they have been coming up the hill from the park in waves.

“After the recent rains their has been an explosion of juvenile cane toads from Pinaroo Park.

“The grass in the park and surrounding foot paths is literally crawling with thousands and thousands of them.

“If these grow to maturity we can say goodbye to many of the frogs revelling in the wet conditions at present … not to mention the other effects of a toad infestation.”

Mr Birch has decided to meet the park invaders head on as they try to move in on him.

“It’s toad wars here,” he said.

Noosa Council environmental services manager Craig Doolan said work is continuing with state agencies as part of a detailed review into fire management procedures and priorities.

Mr Doolan said staff continually inspected areas across the shire to ensure risk is reduced, where possible.

“Given last year’s bushfires, we acknowledge there has been increased anxiety within the community about fire management,” he said.

“It is a real focus for council and we encourage residents, living near bushland to do what they can to be bushfire ready by developing a bushfire survival plan to reduce risk around their homes.”

Mr Doolan said Pinaroo Park reserve is divided by walking tracks, parkland areas and has an external fire access.

“We did conduct an ecological burn within the largest section in late 2013, but there are no immediate plans for another one,” he said.

“The reserve is quite small and disconnected from continual vegetation and authorities feel any outbreak could be contained within a small area by fire access trails and park like areas.”