ICAC: Roozendaal ordered Mayfield container terminal changes

post on June 29th, 2018
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Eric Roozendaal leaves ICAC on Monday. Pic: Daniel Munoz, Fairfax Media via Getty ImagesLABOR treasurer Eric Roozendaal secretly ordered that plans for a Mayfield container terminal be altered to provide for a coal conveyor across the site, after he was lobbied by Buildev and party powerbroker Joe Tripodi to support the company’s coalloader.
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The instruction was issued in early 2011 to the Newcastle Port Corporation despite its objections and clear advice from Treasury and the Hunter Development Corporation of major problems with the coal-loader idea.

The warnings included those from anti-corruption experts that it would be ‘‘grossly unfair’’ to deal with the Newcastle development company exclusively over use of the former steelworks site for coal and a letter from Hunter Development Corporation chairman Paul Broad that the government should ‘‘carefully consider whether the situation justifies direct dealing in preference to a public competitive process’’.

Mr Roozendaal, also ports minister, then wrote a draft letter to the port corporation board in February 2011 to approve the state-owned corporation proceeding with direct negotiations for a container terminal.

But it was on the basis a coal-conveyor easement be included to allow for a future coal-loader as well.

‘‘To whose benefit would that have been?’’ counselassisting the Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry Geoffrey Watson, SC, asked yesterday.

‘‘The people of NSW,’’ Mr Roozendaal replied.‘‘ . . . Apart from them, would it have been of benefit to a particular company?’’ Mr Watson pressed.

‘‘It was potentially a benefit to Buildev, yes,’’ Mr Roozendaal admitted.

The port corporation board minutes record: ‘‘It was understood that the minister was to make an announcement to this effect but would not refer to the easement.’’

Mr Roozendaal denied the change was a potential ‘‘windfall’’ for Buildev he sought to keep secret.

But the move also followed Mr Roozendaal’s instructions issued in November 2010 that the port corporation board be blocked from endorsing then the start of negotiations with the consortium that wanted to build the container terminal, until aTreasury review of the project and Buildev’s coalloader proposal was done.

Labor MP Joe Tripodi had met with Buildev, part owned by Nathan Tinkler, only a few days before that order was given and had assured its directors he would speak to Mr Roozendaal about their coalloader plan.

Mr Roozendaal admitted it was likely he had discussed the issue with Mr Tripodi as ‘‘Joe was advocating for the Buildev proposal’’ and he ‘‘didn’t think it was a problem’’ for Mr Tripodi to discuss with Buildev the information passing through his office.

However, he denied leaking to Mr Tripodi or anyone else a Treasury briefing about the Mayfield site.

Mr Roozendaal denied knowing that Mr Tinkler had offered to secretly fund Newcastle MP and minister for the Hunter Jodi McKay’s campaign, as Ms McKay has told the ICAC.

The inquiry continues.FORMER police minister Mike Gallacher ‘‘constantly’’ referred to Barry O’Farrell as the ‘‘big man’’ and the ‘‘big kahuna’’, suggesting texts about ‘‘$120k’’ coming from an unnamed big man could be references to the former premier, an inquiry has been told.

Former resources and energy minister and Terrigal MP Chris Hartcher told the Independent Commission Against Corruption yesterday he had never discussed $120,000 as promised campaign funding with Newcastle candidate Tim Owen.

The inquiry has been shown a text message from Mr Owen’s campaign manager, Hugh Thomson, to Mr Gallacher, the founder of the Hunter Liberals, asking ‘‘how’s our big man going with the $120k’’.

Mr Thomson has given evidence he believed the big man was Nathan Tinkler.

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Health insurance sale

post on June 29th, 2018
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ONE must question the wisdom of the federal government in its proposed sale of its health insurance provider Medibank Private (The Examiner, August 30), for it has proved to be an annual profit cash for the government since its inception, providing competitive rates against other major health insurance provides.
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Yet Finance Minister Mathias Cormann states it will remove the current conflict where the government is both regulator of private health insurance as well as a large market participant.

This may be so, but with Medibank going down the same path as former government-owned profitable commodities such as Telstra and the Commonwealth Bank (with its imminent listing on the Australia Securities Exchange by the end of the year) it may eventually be a case of the government having nothing more to sell.

Owning profit-making businesses is money in the bank, here endeth the lesson.

— ROBERT LEE, Summerhill.

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Salvos keeps cool with Kleenheat

post on June 29th, 2018
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DONATION: Whyalla Salvation Army will continue to assist those in need with the help of a $5000 donation from Kleenheat Gas. Salvation Army South Australia social programs secretary Rhonda Elkington, Lieutenants Gail and Peter Sweeney with Kleenheat Gas representatives Martin Caldwell and Martin Day.Whyalla Salvation Army will be better equipped to assist those in need this summer following a donation from Kleenheat Gas.
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The Salvation Army received a $5000 donation from Kleenheat Gas through its Regional Care Services Program on Wednesday, August 27.

The donation handover was made by Kleenheat Gas representatives Martin Caldwell and Martin Day and accepted by Salvation Army Lieutenants Peter and Gail Sweeney.

Mr Caldwell said the donation would help Salvation Army continue its important service.

“Kleenheat Gas is proud to provide this donation of $5000 to the Salvos in Whyalla,” he said.

“This will allow them to continue assisting regional communities in need, which is very important work for the local community.”

The money will go towards the Salvation Army’s Community Support Services program and will see seven split system air-conditioning units be installed.

The Community Support Services program provides a safe environment for marginalised families and individuals and currently supports 80 people in the Whyalla community.

Lieutenant Peter Sweeney said with the summer months fast approaching, the donation would enable Salvation Army to provide cool and comfortable facilities.

“These air conditioners will make an incredible difference over the summer months and we are so pleased that we are able to provide a comfortable place for those who are in need,” he said.

Lieutenant Gail Sweeney extended thanks to Kleenheat Gas for its support.

Mr Caldwell said the donation was part of the ongoing Regional Care Services program partnership between Kleenheat Gas and Salvation Army.

“Over the years Kleenheat and the Salvos have worked together,” he said.

The Regional Care Services program was established in 2009 to support a different regional community in Australia each month by providing operational funding and donations.

Mr Caldwell said Kleenheat Gas had donated $200,000 so far through the program.

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Don’t get caught out

post on March 16th, 2019
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Heavy vehicle drivers will now be fined if they are caught using the old National Driver Work Diary.
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In February the new National Driver Work Diary was introduced and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator allowed drivers a six month grace period, which ended on August 10, to switch from the old diary to the new diary.

Unfortunately a number of heavy vehicle drivers in the Barossa and surrounding regions are not aware of this new regulation and it was only by chance that Sherinne Schuster from E and L Schuster and Son found out about the new diary.

“I found out about the new diary through a friend who found out about it by accident while he was at the motor vehicle registration office talking to a truck driver,” Sherinne said.

“All heavy vehicle truck drivers need to have the new work diary to fall in to line with the new National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.

“I am disappointed that owners and operators of farms and other non-truckie businesses (that are required to use the new diary as they may have the odd driver that travels over 100 kilometres every once and a while) haven’t been notified of the change.

“We understand they are trying to keep the roads as safe as possible and stop bosses from being able to flog their drivers.

“It’s just a shame that we weren’t informed about it.”

Under the new fatigue laws all drivers who drive more than a 12 tonne gross vehicle weight (GVM) are required to complete the work diary to record their work and rest times if they drive more than 100 kilometres from their home base or operate under the Basic fatigue Management or Advanced Fatigue Management.

The updated work diary will be available for $20 from the same places where the old diary was sold.

For more information on the new National Driver Work Diary and to find out where to purchase them visit nhvr.gov.au/workdiary.

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Magpie chatter

post on March 16th, 2019
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Magpie players outnumber their opposition on Saturday during the game.The Tanunda Football Club are represented in the finals series this season by our Under 15s, a large group who have had a lot of management whilst also being great support to Kapunda and Angaston in this age group for the year.
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Chris ‘Spud’ Murphy and his team of coaches and assistants have manfully taught a lot to these boys in the past twoseasons, to a stage where there are 30 or so fine young lads who all deserve a spot on this side.

The team started the season slowly as it takes time to get such a group to gel, however in the second half it all clicked, and the feeling is that there are some exciting times ahead for this bunch of boys.

What a lovely day for the first final at Angaston, the weather was perfect for football and a great crowd in attendance.

The clash was between Tanunda and Willaston who finished third and fourth on the premiership table.

Tanunda won the toss and kicked towards the southern end of Angaston oval. Tanunda were switched on right from the first bounce and went straight into their forward line.

The ball spent most of the first quarter in Tanunda’s forward 50. The defence was very tight, allowing Willaston no easy shots at goal. This was the way the game was played for the first three quarters, with Tanunda winning them all.

The final quarter was a lot tougher as Willaston mounted a fight back, but Tanunda rallied and managed to hang on for a great Final’s win. [Score:Tanunda 9 –8 to Willaston 6-6].

There was a very even spread of goal kicker’s and an excellent defensive effort by all.

Let’s keep the effort and commitment up, on our way to the top. There is still more work to do, so let’s train hard for the next two weeks in preparation for the next final.

So get around these boys, the future if the Tanunda Magpies.

Into the diary please note these dates, BL&G Grand Final at Tanunda, we will need helpers, especially those with an RSA badge, also Senior Presentation Night is October 18 at Langmeil Winery.

Go you Magpies!

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Four charged over kidnap and assault in Werrington

post on March 16th, 2019
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Police have charged four people over a kidnap and assault in Werrington last month.
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Police said it will be alleged that on Saturday,August 30, a 16-year-old was assaulted at an address on Albert Street in Werrington. He was allegedly struck with a nun-chuck and burnt on the arm with a lit cigarette.

The teenager was then forced to go to an address on Putland Street in St Marys, where he was threatened. He was eventually let go after the incident, which lasted around five hours.

Officers from St Marys Local Area Command have been investigating the incident and have made four arrests.

A 15-year-old male was arrested about 3.20pm on Monday,September 1at an address on Albert Street in Werrington.

A 47-year-old man was arrested at an address on Putland Street in St Marys.

A 20-year-old man was arrested in Penrith and a 17-year-old was arrested on September 2 inAndrews Road in Penrith.

The males aged 15, 17 and 20, have been charged with take/detain in company with intent to get advantage; assault occasioning actual bodily harm in company; and threaten person with intent to influence witness.

The three have been refused bail, with the two juveniles set to appear at a children’s court today, with the other due to appear at Penrith Local Court today.

The 47-year-old man was charged with threaten injury to person with intent to commit an indictable offence. He was granted conditional and will appear at Penrith Local Court on September 22 this year.

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Zac speaks to students for Hearing Awareness week

post on March 16th, 2019
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GUEST SPEAKER: Zac Diekman (in blue) with his parents, from left, Lisa and Adam Diekman and hearing science co-ordinator, Virginia Adare at one of Zac’s school presentations.Aa part of Hearing Awareness week from August 24 to August 30, nine-year-old Zac Diekman from Kapunda made a special presentation to individual classes at Kapunda Primary School.
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Zac, who is partially deaf in one ear (with conductive hearing loss), is doing his part in raising awareness of hearing loss issues and explained in detail to other students at the school via a powerpoint presentation about his own hearing loss.

The year four student said he already had three grommets (inserted through the ear canal to let fluid out and have the ear return back to normal) and three operations, while he has had his hearing aid for two years.

Having a hearing aid doesn’t stop Zac from playing his favourite sports of football (Kapunda Bombers Under 11s), basketball and tennis.

“I take my hearing aid out when I play football and basketball but leave it in when playing tennis,” Zac said.

Virginia Adare, a hearing science co-ordinator with Department of Education and Child Development also attended the presentation and spoke to the students about how ears work and how to assist people with hearing loss.

Some ideas mentioned were to face people with hearing loss when you speak to them so they can see your facial expressions, keep background noise down (acoustics), and don’t talk to them from behind.

Zac gave a demonstration to the students with his own hearing aid, explained how it worked and spoke about the maintenance of it.

“With the help of my hearing aid I can hear my grandparents on the phone and the television doesn’t have to be so loud anymore which makes my Dad happy,” Zac said.

For further information about hearing loss, go to the Hearing Awareness Week website:hearingawarenessweek.org.au.

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Call for more local business support

post on March 16th, 2019
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Councillor Ian Scandrett has called on council to provide more support for Australian businesses, particularly in the Southern Highlands. Photo by Roy TruscottCOUNCILLOR Ian Scandrett has called for council to be more “fair dinkum”.
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Cr Scandrett put forward a Notice of Motion in last week’s Ordinary Meeting of Council for council to re-examine its commitment to Australian made safety boots.

This included purchasing wholly Australian made safety boots and footwear within the shire, where possible.

“The point is, to buy Australian comes at a slight premium, but if we want to keep jobs in the area, we need to,” Cr Scandrett said.

“My reason for proposing this is to get us to think about where we spend our money, ethically, Rossi Boots do everything in Australia and generally speaking we should support local made and locally sold.

“The intent of this motion is to practice what we should be preaching and start talking among ourselves and the staff about our policy.”

Councillors Graham McLaughlin and Holly Campbell supported the motion.

Cr McLaughlin said his support was fuelled by the disappearance of industries in this shire.

“I will support this because I think we need to take a stand somewhere,” he said.

“If we are going to support jobs, we should start somewhere and should start in our own shire.”

Councillor Larry Whipper and Mayor Juliet Arkwright agreed the matter was a “nice idea” but unrealistic in today’s society.

“I agree in principal, the free trade kills us and we can’t do a damn thing about it,” Cr Whipper said.

“It’s a nice idea but you just can’t do it this day and age.”

Crs Whipper and Arkwright said the motion shouldn’t just specify boots and should be more broad.

“As much as I support the sentiment, it’s a bit too over specific, I would rather have a more over arching policy,” Cr Arkwright said.

“I think all of us in our hearts would love to see this.

“We should wish that wherever possible and feasible staff members look to purchase Australian made products.”

The motion was lost with six councillors voting against it, but Cr Scandrett urged councillors to think about buying Australian made, buying local and shopping local.

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Educational DVD released for the APY Lands

post on February 16th, 2019
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A new DVD specifically aimed at consumers living in the APY Lands was released by the state government last week.
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The ‘Deadly Dollars – Something for Nothing’ DVD warns of sharp business practices targeting remote communities, raising awareness of making informed choices when paying for products or services.

Minister for Business Services and Consumers Gail Gago said the government wants to give South Australians living in the APY lands to feel confident as consumers and ensure they are well informed in making purchase decisions.

“Unfortunately, we have seen evidence that people living in remote communities are specifically targeted by unscrupulous traders, including unlicensed second hand car dealers and shonky appliance rent-to-buy schemes,” Ms Gago said.

“These are complex issues but they are very real.

“We want to ensure that for those living on the APY Lands, there is no shame in seeking assistance and talking to somebody about money problems.”

‘Deadly Dollars – Something for Nothing’ tells the story of an Anangu family that is struggling to manage their spending, demonstrating how they learn to deal with money better.

The family in the story faces long pay-off periods that outlast the product itself, feels pressured into taking a product on a deposit plan and argues over a family member gambling away money that is needed for essentials.

The DVD was filmed in Pitjantjatjara, features local actors and a script that was finalised with help from the Mimili community.

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Skills program to create local job opportunities in Port Augusta

post on February 16th, 2019
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LOCAL WORKFORCE: Skills for Jobs in Regions’ Pika Wiya Health Worker Project program manager Verity McTaggart and program participant Tanita Paige with Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills Gail Gago in Port Augusta last week.Almost 500 people in Port Augusta are being assisted to develop their skills and access local job opportunities under a program designed to keep people employed in their local communities.
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Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills Gail Gago was in town on Wednesday of last week to discuss the next round of funding of the locally successful ‘Skills for Jobs in Regions’ program.

Minister Gago said it’s critical for regions to retain a local workforce.

“It’s most important that we don’t keep losing our young people from our regions into the city and also interstate,” she said.

“The key to keeping them into their local communities and local families, is work.”

The aim is to increase the state’s skilled workforce in areas of regional and local industry need, and create more employment opportunities through delivering tailored employment projects.

The minister said the great advantage of the program is the strong connection between the training provider and industry.

“The employers have the opportunity to identify the skills that they need, the training provider provider is then able to make sure that they put a package of skills and training together that specifically meets that employers need, and then they deliver it – and there’s a job at the end of that training,” she explained.

“It is specifically designed to meet a service need on the ground…we don’t train for training’s sake, we train for jobs.”

In Port Augusta specifically, 165 of 487 participants have already found employment and there are still three months remaining in the program.

Some industry needs identified in the Port Augusta area include engineering, support to engineering (aligned with mining endeavours), aged care and mental health care workers.

Pika Wiya Health Worker Project program manager Verity McTaggart sung the program’s praises, suggesting it is the ideal way of recruiting employees.

She said under the Skills for Jobs in Regions program, Pika Wiya were able to identify a shortfall in Aboriginal health workers in their mental health team, and attract a number of trainees to complete a Certificate III in Primary Health Care.

“It’s great I think, for Aboriginal people in particular, because it’s a group coming together to study Monday to Friday, so it’s building a rapport,” she said.

One of these participants is local mother Tanita Paige, who decided to join the program to improve her chances of getting a job as a nurse.

She said she has every intention of staying in Port Augusta for work.

“Thankfully Pika Wiya are offering these courses because it’s always something that I wanted to do,” Ms Paige said.

“I hope that it will provide me with the stepping stone I need to complete my Diploma in Nursing or pursue a cadetship at the Port Augusta Hospital or the Pika Wiya Learning Centre.”

The next round of funding is underway, and the state government is currently taking submissions and proposals for the 2014-2015 financial year.

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Netball courts to be funded from sale of land

post on February 16th, 2019
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The Vikings and Shamrocks played on the Railway Parade courts on the weekend.Eleven netball courts will be constructed as part of stage two (the netball component) of the redevelopment of Central Oval.
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After recently approving the allocation of $850,000 to fund construction, Port Augusta City Council will now obtain a short term cash advance debenture from the Local Government Finance Authority (LGFA).

The cash advance will be repaid from the funds obtained from the sale of the land currently occupied by Port Augusta Netball Association (PANA) on Railway Parade, which has been valuated at more than $1 million.

The cost estimate of $841,000 for stage two of redevelopment includes civil works, stormwater, asphalt, lighting, fencing and sealing of courts.

The cost of financing an $850,000 short term advance from the LGFA is $45,000 per year.

PANA will contribute to the fit out of the courts and shade and seating to the area, as well as their office space.

The process of selling the current land will be made easier without PANA occupying the facility, but could take more than a year to facilitate.

Elected members will be provided with a further report in due course, containing options for the disposal of the current netball association land.

The netball association deferred major maintenance works to existing court infrastructure with the impending return to Central Oval.

Port Augusta City Council were given the $10 million grant on the basis the Central Oval redevelopment would be a community and sporting hub including a range of sports and if stage two funding was not approved the entire grant could have been taken away.

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Therapy through music

post on February 16th, 2019
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Austin Denheyer, Taleisha Bridgett, Frank Jarfoi and Issaiah Thommers at “Drumbeat” in Henty last week.Members of the ‘Grandparents doing it tough’ group met in Henty on Friday to take part in a Drumbeat presentation with the grandchildren.
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The grandparents and children were taught how to drum by Frank Jarfoi from Centacare who has been living in Wagga for the last five years.

While the days meeting was all about making noise and drumming there is also a therapeutic element.

“It’s not just the music there is a therapeutic aspect to it,” Centacare Post Separation Cooperative Parenting (PSCP) Facilitator Lyn Reilly said.

“They also have a form of identity through using the drums. We all play a different beat but when we play together it becomes something beautiful.

“It is something special for the school and bringing Drumbeat here is great for the school.”

By the grandparents getting involved and having a go they are showing the kids that it isn’t that hard.

Vodeen Graetz, one of the grandparents, was pleased with the event.

“It’s good for the kids to know that there are other kids like them (raised by their grandparents),” Ms Graetz said.

Ms Graetz is raising six of her grandchildren and while the day helped the children it also supports the grandparents just as much by being around people who are in the same position.

“People are quite judgemental and they think that your kids have done something wrong because of you,” Ms Graetz said.

“They are having a fathers day event at school and thats fine when you’ve got a father but when you don’t it’s hard on them. Their friends understand but it’s still hard.”

The idea behind ‘Grandparents doing it tough’ is to support other people in the same position.

Centacare is based in Wagga Wagga but runs events in Henty after they became aware that there was a need for it.

“There are grandparents here and they are fun,” Ms Reilly said.

“It helps them build up their social networks and gives them the opportunity to talk to other grandparents raising their grandkids.”

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Redlands on fire alert

post on February 16th, 2019
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Redlanders have been urged to be bushfire ready afterthe State Disaster Coordination Centre issuedasevere fire warning for South East Queensland including Redland City.
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Redland City Mayor and Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group Karen Williams said the fire warning had been issued due to forecast weather conditions for today.

“The Bureau of Meteorology said warm, dry, fresh and gusty winds are expected to increase during the day, so residents should be vigilant of the increased fire risk,” Cr Williams said.

“This warning should resonate strongly with local residents after the Straddie bushfires earlier this year and residents are asked to check their bushfire survival plans to ensure they have a family emergency plan and emergency kit at the ready.”

Cr Williams said a great source of information was Council’s Disaster Management Plan.

“This resource provides information on how to prepare for a disaster and evacuation routes specific to individual suburbs and islands,” she said.

“Everyone should familiarise themselves with the necessary information and prepare their home and families now rather than waiting until a fire to make the necessary preparations.

“We would also ask that people not light fires, including burning off in their backyards and being mindful of disposing of cigarette butts safely during these hot and dry conditions. People should also listen to the radio to stay connected to Council and QFES social media channels for any updates.”

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