A novel Queensland approach to be better prepared for future fire seasons has been recognised in the 2020 Get Ready Queensland Resilient Australia Awards.
The Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium has been highly commended for the lead role it has played in coordinating and providing much needed information and support on bushfire preparedness and property planning.
The Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium was recognised for its Fire Management Planning workshops in the community award section at the recent 2020 Get Ready Queensland Resilient Australia Awards. It received the high commendation for its highly tailored workshop series, which arms landholders with locally relevant information and supports them to work together with their local Rural Fire Brigade, local government and other landholders in their neighbourhood to develop practical fire management plans for their properties.
“With the devastation of last year’s fire season still vivid in people’s minds, it is particularly pleasing to see the strong demand for information to better prepare for future fire seasons,” says Julie McLellan, CEO of Healthy Land and Water – the natural resource management group for South East Queensland and home to the Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium.
“The strength of the workshops is that they are interactive, collaborative, and held locally,” says Ms McLellan.
“We’ve had great feedback from participants who reported much improved knowledge and confidence about planning for this natural threat to their livelihoods.”
Ms McLellan says she believes the key to the success of the workshop series is the collaborative model, with each workshop delivered in partnership with key stakeholders, including the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, local government, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and utility providers.
During the award ceremony, the fire workshop series was recognised not only for its provision of regionally focused information, but also for its power in bringing stakeholders together to develop plans for fire preparedness within their region that recognise a balance between bushfire risk, agriculture and environmental values. “Each area is unique, and this brings a unique set of challenges to fire management, which needs to be considered for the strongest approach across the region,” explains Ms McLellan.
“Knowledge builds confidence – the confidence needed to undertake preventative action and to act in a crisis.”
Ms McLellan says that a resilient community is one that works together to assist and support each other during and after a disaster. “The beauty of the workshops is that they provide local community members an opportunity to get to know their neighbours, identify strengths and weaknesses across their local areas, and practice working as a collective. The provision of knowledge, tools and support to the community acknowledges their role as part of the solution to building resilience,” she says.
“The success of the approach all comes down to the many partners who have proactively collaborated to deliver the workshops and the knowledgeable team leading the Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium, including the manager of the Consortium, Dr Samantha Lloyd and workshop lead, Craig Welden. The expertise behind the scenes help us to realise our mission of translating science into practice for improved fire management and biodiversity conservation,” said Ms McLellan.
Learn more about the Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium
The Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium has been empowering communities to better balance bushfire risk with management and biodiversity outcomes for over 20 years. Utilising a collaborative approach, this non-government program draws upon the expertise, experience and capacity of its 18 diverse partners to deliver services, resources and support specifically tailored to build the resilience of communities and stakeholders around bushfires.
Established in 1998, the Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium is a network of land managers and stakeholders committed to improving fire and biodiversity management outcomes, supporting and disseminating fire ecology research, facilitating partnerships between key stakeholders and building the capacity of land managers and private land owners to address issues of fire management and biodiversity in South East Queensland and across the State.
The Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium is proud to be a program of Healthy Land and Water, an independent not for profit organisation dedicated to improving and protecting South East Queensland’s environment. Working in partnership with government, industry, utilities, landholders, Traditional Owners and community, Healthy Land and Water delivers innovative and science-based solutions to challenges affecting the environment. The combination of scientific expertise and on-ground management underpins Healthy Land and Water’s mission to lead and connect through science and actions that will preserve and enhance our natural assets and support resilient regions.
For more information on how you can create a fire management plan for your property or attend one of Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium’s Fire Planning Workshops, please get in touch via the Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium’s website.