Photos of the homes of Beau Williams and his father Brian Williams who lost their home in the fires. Fires in Noosa. Pic Peter Wallis
Photos of the homes of Beau Williams and his father Brian Williams who lost their home in the fires. Fires in Noosa. Pic Peter Wallis

Noosa Mayor fires back at critics of council’s fire controls

ATTACKS on Noosa Council for failing to carry out controlled burns had Mayor Tony Wellington breathing fire in a verbal response.

He told ABC radio there is “a lot of false information floating around on social media”.

“When we get a disaster like this, everyone wants to point to someone and blame them, and there’s a lot of pointing fingers saying that Noosa Council for not doing enough supposed controlled burning.

“I’d like to bust that myth.

“We do carry out controlled burns on land that we control and of course we work with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service and parks and wildlife service and we all interrelate.

He said the burn which is responsible for the weekend devastation around Cooroibah started on private land went to state-controlled national park and came back to private land.

“It was not council land.

“Controlled burns do not prevent in extreme fire conditions.

“A controlled or cool burn as they’re known takes out the fuel on the ground and from the understorey, but it doesn’t burn to the tops of trees, whereas the sort of fire we’ve been experiencing goes right through the tree tops as well.

“So no amount of preparatory burning is going to prevent fire and anyway, logic should dictate that you can’t prevent a fire simply by doing controlled burns in patches.

“The only way you could do it is by buying every tree in the shire and obviously that’s going to happen,” the mayor said.

The chair of Noosa’s Local Disaster Management Group, said during council planning and environment committee meeting there are going to be more properties threatened “than they were some years ago”.

“There’s quite a bit around Pomona where there are estates and houses been allowed to be built on the edge of highly forested areas.

“We’re looking most particularly in that regard at evacuation strategies for those places where there’s only one road in and out.”

As for the present fire threat he said: “Things are not looking good for the rest of the week,” Mr Wellington said.

“It’s getting a bit repetitive and the community and the community is getting quite tired of the whole business I think.”