Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien with Cherbourg Shire Councillors (Photo: Wide Bay Electorate Office)
April 7, 2022

Cherbourg will be better able to prepare for this year’s bushfire season, thanks to an $89,450 grant.

The funding has come from the Preparing Australian Communities Program (PACP), and was announced on Thursday by Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien.

The Cherbourg Fire Mitigation Project 2022 was one of 158 projects across the country that shared in the first round of PACP funding.

“This funding is designed to prepare the Cherbourg community against the risk of bushfire through a range of risk-reduction projects,” Mr O’Brien said.

This would include creating firebreaks, holding prescribed burns, tree lopping, removing fuel loads and delivering a community education awareness campaign about bushfire hazards and the need for disaster preparedness.

Cherbourg Council CEO Chatur Zala said the council would work closely with the local fire services to assist in back-burning and clearing major roads to ensure road access during a fire, particularly for fire trucks and emergency vehicles.

“It’s been a very wet season which has left us with a high fuel load around access roads into remote locations, as well as in the Wondai State Forest behind us,” Mr Zala said.

“So it is essential … we remove undergrowth, create fire breaks into remote locations, and undertake prescribed burns to create a fire break around the community.”

Senator Bridget McKenzie said the Federal Government wanted communities to be as protected from the threat of natural disasters as much as possible.

“We know that we can’t disaster-proof the entire nation,” she said.

“However, by delivering this program, our government is increasing disaster preparedness and resilience and reducing the costs in both time and money of recovery following future disasters.

“By reducing disaster risk, it’s also anticipated that this investment will encourage reductions in insurance premiums.”

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