On top of challenges already facing parts of our region from ongoing drought, over the past few weeks we have had significant and continuing bushfire activity, which has caused significant harm to our region.
While to date, these latest bushfire events have not resulted in in loss of life or residential property, they have had significant impact on grazing land, forest areas and our local tourism industry.
The distress of these events is compounded as so many of our landholders are still active in fire response activities.
However, now is a time where Council is working with multiple agencies to activate recovery support to rebuild and refocus to the future.
I am acutely aware that with the ferocity of these fires, that much of our farm fencing has been impacted, along with on-farm fodder for livestock. The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has people on the ground trying to assess the extent of this.
Read: Support for bushfire-affected producers
A number of agencies have been receiving donations to help with these recovery needs, however without good information from our affected producers, it is difficult to connect this support with the need.
Council has also been finding options to work with affected land owners to recover their infrastructure, to facilitate an understanding of need and removing obstructions to ensure a safe and successful recovery.
An important part of the Scenic Rim’s recovery is also continuing to attract visitors back to our region, so our economy and our communities can recover and thrive.
Following the September bushfires, which had a significant impact on visitation in the region, we launched a new destination marketing campaign to help local business recover.
This campaign, as well as some proactive PR activity we are taking the lead on, is focused around the long-term wellbeing of our region, with a view to the future and all the fine attributes our region has to offer at its best.
This is a long-term strategy to highlight the natural beauty of our region and the wonderful authenticity of our people.
Events like bushfires and drought, no matter how severe, come and go. But the one thing that we must hold onto and pursue is hope and optimism for the future of our region, bolstered by decisive and strategic action for the future.
I recognise that this event has impacted businesses across the region and I wish to remind everyone that it’s important to reach out for support in these trying times.
I know that the strength and backbone of our community is to support each other, so we don’t walk alone. Please look out for your friends, families and neighbours during this time.
Please check out the latest Community Recovery Newsletter regarding the November bushfires for information about the assistance available.