UPDATE: Deepwater residents permitted to return home
UPDATE 10.45am: GLADSTONE Regional Council has confirmed following the evacuation of the Deepwater, Baffle Creek, Rules Beach and Oyster Creek communities from the CQ bushfires, emergency services and authorities have now deemed the area safe to return.
Following extensive rapid damage assessment, residents and property owners can return to their community from 12pm today.
Mayor Matt Burnett said Queensland Police Service will coordinate a check-in point at the corner of Hills and Taunton Rds to provide access to the affected communities.
"I want to thank the members of the affected communities for their ongoing understanding and resilience during this time of hardship," Cr Burnett said.
"Emergency services have been and continue to, work around the clock to ensure the safety of residents returning home.
"We ask residents returning home to please be patient during the re-entry process.
"Ergon Energy crews also worked where possible to connect power to households."
Cr Burnett said authorities needed to determine it was safe before Baffle Creek and Deepwater residents and land owners would be allowed to return to their communities.
QPS inspector Darren Somerville said advice from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services at a Local Disaster Management Group meeting held Tuesday morning determined it was safe to let people back into the area.
"Myself and the mayor discussed it and we also flew over the area yesterday," Insp. Somerville said.
"As a result of discussions at the LDMG meeting this morning I have lifted the no access into the Deepwater, Baffle Creek, Wartburg areas and we are now allowing restricted access.
"That will be in relation to owners and occupants of premises in that area.
"Police will be manning a road block at the Hills Rd causeway and Hills Rd and Taunton Rd intersection and they will be checking the credentials of residents as they return.
"The Hills Rd access will be the only access allowed - the access through Deepwater is still closed."
QFES assistant commissioner Steve Barber said today's weather conditions were favourable for firefighters.
"We have some 20 fires downgraded from 25 yesterday still burning within the Gladstone Regional Council area," he said.
"Most of those aren't threatening properties or infrastructure at this point in time."
Meanwhile, a Recovery Hub has been established at the Wartburg Sport and Recreation Grounds at 569 Coast Rd, Baffle Creek.
The Recovery Hub will have representatives from the following organisations:
▪ Department of Communities
▪ Lifeline, Red Cross, Salvation Army
▪ Queensland Health
▪ Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
▪ Queensland Ambulance Service
▪ Department of Housing
▪ Gladstone Regional Council (water supply, animals, referral)
▪ QFES Community Volunteer Educators
The Hub will operate from 12:00pm - 5:00pm Tuesday 4 December, and 9.00am - 5.00pm on the following days, until further notice.
The community are encouraged to access the Recovery Hub following inspections of their property for support with eligibility for relevant grants, livestock advice, temporary accommodation, and mental health first aid.
EARLIER: GLADSTONE region Mayor Matt Burnett has announced residents in Deepwater, Baffle Creek, Rules Beach and Oyster Creek can return to their homes after 12pm today.
He made the announcement at a press conference a short time ago.
This is a breaking news event, more to come.