Bushfire Risk Management

(Adopted August 2020)


The Queensland Greens believe that:

1. The preservation of life is paramount. We must protect human and animal life and preserve our natural and essential built environment.

2. Fire is an integral part of many Australian landscapes but varies in its behaviour, intensity, and frequency, as weather, local climate, landscape, and vegetation factors play critical roles in fire behaviour.

3. Evidence-based hazard reduction, including by burning, is necessary to reduce fuel loads at appropriate times in bushfire prone areas.

4. The risk of severe bushfires will continue to increase due to the climate crisis, the result of increasing temperatures, more frequent, intense, and prolonged heat waves, and changing rainfall patterns.

5. Bush fire risk management should be informed by the knowledge of local Indigenous Australians.

6. A well-resourced emergency services sector is an essential asset for a safer, more secure community.

7. Early detection and warning systems are essential for an effective response to bushfires.

8. Ongoing, well-funded education and training programs for the community are essential to be adequately prepared for the increasing frequency and intensity of bushfires.

9. The effect of disturbances, such as land clearing, changes to hydrology, logging, grazing, weed infestation and feral animals, on bushfire incidence and severity needs to be better understood and acknowledged to effectively mitigate risks and impacts.

10. Land use planning and building regulation have a critical role in minimising the risks and impacts of bushfires.

11. Governments and public services have primary responsibility for the services for, and support of, people and communities affected by bushfires.


Safer Communities

The Queensland Greens will:

1. Ensure Queenslanders are better prepared and more self-reliant in bushfire risk zones.

2. Facilitate communities becoming ‘fire smart’ through incentives, education, and training.

3. Require the development of more options for sheltering from bushfires.

4. Ensure more effective and active partnerships between communities and emergency services.

5. Ensure funding, equipment, personnel, and early detection systems for rapid early response capabilities in all regions at risk.

6. Introduce comprehensive and effective bushfire response planning for vulnerable people in the community.

7. Use evidence-based methods of creating safer, more defensible zones around houses and townships that are ecologically sympathetic.

8. Encourage and utilise locally developed best practice for warning and communication systems and fire safety planning.

9. Ensure ongoing maintenance of places of last resort, such as neighbourhood safer places and community fire refuges.

10. Provide rebates for installation of residential fire safety systems in bushfire prone regions.

11. Mandate underground power lines or off-grid, micro-grid systems, in all new developments in at-risk areas.

12. Develop power network resilience through fire resistant infrastructure such as microgrids and storage prioritising isolated rural communities, underground power lines, and aerial bundling of cables.

13. Ensure proper maintenance of all power lines by power distribution companies, with independent oversight.

14. Introduce measures to address fragility of telecommunications systems during bushfires.

Bush & Wildlife

The Queensland Greens will:

15. Allocate resources to increase the rate of survival and rehabilitation of affected wildlife.

16.  Ensure that authorised trained wildlife carers are integrated into the Incident Control Structure for wildfires and are resourced and coordinated to be able to rescue, feed or humanely euthanise suffering wildlife during and after a fire.

17. Ensure properly resourced and evidence-based hazard reduction regimes with a clearly defined purpose that:

17.1. Employ where appropriate non-burn methods such as mechanical removal, mulching or control of invasive flammable grasses" 

17.2. Reflect tolerable fire intervals for respective vegetation areas.

17.3. Ensure proper biodiversity assessment of plans by the responsible government departments.

17.4. Involve Traditional Owners and local communities with local biodiversity knowledge.

17.5. Exclude long unburnt representative areas.

17.6. Require fuel hazard re-assessment with on-site inspection immediately prior to burning.

17.7. Consider an area as “treated” if fuel levels are below the designated threshold.

17.8. Do not alter the composition of dominant canopy species, for example by rake hoeing around the base of all large, old trees; and,

17.9. Reduce the number of large old habitat trees cut down after the fire.

17.10 Have a clearly defined purpose, such as hazard reduction, weed eradication or ecological burn.

18. Significantly increase resourcing for biodiversity assessments ahead of hazard reduction burns, and after a fire event.

19. Ensure fire agencies minimise the size of areas burnt in “back burns” in view of their likely impact on fleeing wildlife.

20. Ensure the preservation of unburnt islands as refuges for native seedbeds and vulnerable immobile animal species.

21. Ensure the impact on wildlife to be included in ecological assessments undertaken before any fuel reduction burn.

22. Prevent inappropriate access to public lands for cattle in recognition of the habitat degradation (e.g. water-course erosion and introduction of invasive weeds) that offsets purported fuel load reduction.

23. Oppose any logging of areas burnt in bushfires in accord with research showing that this severely compounds the damage already suffered.
24. Ensure properly resourced and evidence-based post-fire revegetation and weed management.


Research and Education

The Queensland Greens will:

25. Advance public understanding of bushfire, to ensure Queensland develops world’s best practice in fire prevention, management, and control.

26. Improve public understanding of how to use building design, landscape features and fire-retardant vegetation for residential fire protection.

27. Support bushfire research and fire suppression techniques considering the need to halt biodiversity decline.

28. Increase research funding to advance fire agencies’ understanding of fire and the environment, and fire risk minimisation.

29. Further research and review into the impact of climate change on bushfire behaviour.

30. Increase research and understanding of the many ways people react in times of extreme emergency.

31. Further research and review into the impact of fire-retardant chemicals used in fire suppression.

32. Review and improve emergency warning systems including fire weather warnings.

33. Encourage the scientific community to use plain language to bring bushfire information and expertise to the broader community.

34. Improve the scientific accountability of fire management.



The Queensland Greens will:

35. Ensure planning schemes that site houses and subdivisions such that fire mitigation work is not required on public land.

36. Incorporate bushfire risks regulations for the location and maintenance of plantations.

37. Change government plans for logging state forests adjacent to residential interface to reduce flammable regeneration.

38. Identify high fire risk zones to limit subdivision in dangerous interface areas, with input from relevant fire services. 

39. Ensure building standards and regulations which are considered best practice for fire risk reduction are implemented


Fire Emergency Services

The Queensland Greens will:

40. Ensure provision of well-resourced fire emergency services, including compensation to volunteers in anticipation of extended service due to earlier and longer prescribed fire season supported via a dedicated tax on fossil fuel companies.

41. Ensure provision of technologically up-to-date rapid fire-detection systems and equipment.

42. Continue development and deployment of emergency community alert systems to ensure the most effective, broad ranging alert systems are in place.

43. Streamline fire services administration to ensure more immediate and direct responses to emergency situations.

44. Provide integrated state fire services, and ensure Incident Control is in the hands of the most experienced wildfire responders available, rather than the most senior fire officer on the scene

45. Review staffing and stations in new peri-urban areas.

46. Provide a single website for the community to access fire information.

47. Ensure emergency telephone systems are adequate for the task and are properly staffed to prevent failure in times of fire disaster, in conjunction with full radio coverage.