"A big shout out to the Miriam Vale and Lowmead areas! These firefighters on deployment from Brisbane want to thank the community for their unwavering support during the heightened bushfire conditions. Thanks a bunch" – Queensland Fire and Emergency Services

YOUR SAY: Commission to improve natural disaster management

SUBMISSIONS are open for a royal commission that aims to improve Australia's natural disaster management.

The Royal Commission into Natural Diasaster Arrangements was announced in February this year and opened for submissions earlier this month.

The commission aims to improve Australia's preparedness, resilience and response to natural disasters, and the legal framework for the Commonwealth's involvement in responding to national emergencies.

Baffle Creek Catchment emergency co-ordination committee chair and volunteer firefighter Judy Ferrari welcomed the commission.

"People have different opinions and thoughts if they're impacted by these fires - there needs to be a commission to look at all those submissions and thoughts," she said.

Since 2013 there have been four disasters declared in the region, two floods and two fires.

Ms Ferarri believed since the 2018 Deepwater fires conditions had continued to worsen.

She said the biggest area in need of improvement was preparedness.

"I think communities need to work together more with their emergency services and people need to know their bushfire warnings and know what to do when warnings are published by QFES," she said.

Mt Maria resident and volunteer firefighter Tony Headford defended his own property during the Mt Maria fire.

He believed the biggest need for improvement was resources for rural fire brigades.

"We've only got two trucks in my brigade and we've got 30 members - close to 20 of those are active firefighters," he said.

He said the commission would be good to investigate land clearing laws for fire breaks.

Ms Ferrari and Mr Headford encouraged residents to consider making submissions.

Gladstone mayor Matt Burnett said the council would make a submission.

"One of the things we'll be asking in that royal commission is how come some councils in New South Wales were given a million dollars support and others were given none," Cr Burnett said.

He believed the biggest area in need of improvement was fuel load reduction.

Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said the scale of the recent natural disasters presented new challenges for all levels of government

"Our priority is to keep Australians safe and to do that, we need to leave no stone unturned as this national inquiry delves into our recent Black Summer," Mr O'Dowd said.

Submissions can be made via the Commission's website or by phoning 1800 909 826.

Submissions close Friday, April 3.



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