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The K’gari (Fraser Island) Bushfire Review was announced by the Queensland Premier and Minister for Trade on 2 December 2020. The Office of the Inspector-General Emergency Management (IGEM) was officially tasked by the Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services (the Minister) to undertake the review on 4 December 2020.

The review focused on preparedness and response to the K’gari bushfire event. Bushfire hazard mitigation activities are considered in scope for the review, given the significant impact these activities have on preparedness. IGEM was asked to consider the environmental and cultural aspects of the World Heritage listed site, which is an extremely unique island based on its pristine lakes, ancient rainforests and rare sand dune systems.

The review found opportunities for QFES and QPWS to better engage with relevant stakeholders, the Butchulla people and the community, to plan and undertake hazard mitigation activities. This was particularly relevant across multiple land tenures with different landowners which could benefit from further engagement as part of a reinvigorated Locality Specific Area Fire Management Group on K’gari. The review also acknowledged the changing profile of the island since it was operated by the Department of Forestry for logging operations. Since 1992, the island has been listed as a World Heritage site and is managed on a day to day basis by QPWS. The agency is responsible for the management of 98% of the island including the K’gari section of Great Sandy National Park (163,721 hectares) and Fraser Island State Forest (34 hectares).

The review makes a number of recommendations to address opportunities for improvement related to enhancing the management and protection of world heritage and cultural values. The review found opportunities to strengthen collaboration with the Butchulla people, the community and business representatives through the Locality Specific Area Fire Management Group for K’gari. It also found an opportunity to make bushfire risk and planning information more readily available to the community.


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