Focus is now on bushfire recovery: Council

The sun also rises - Free Times reader Robert Bridge sent us this shot of a bushfire-tinged sunrise on Wednesday of this week, as seen from Rabbit Fence Road at Passchendaele.

The Southern Downs Regional Council says with bushfires throughout the Stanthorpe and Applethorpe areas now listed as extinguished by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) the recovery process now becomes the focus.

In a statement released earlier today – Thursday 12 September – a council spokeswoman said while residents “are asked to continue taking direction from emergency services personnel and to remain abreast of any QFES updates, the focus of the region now turns to the recovery process”.

“The Southern Downs Regional Council has now activated Recovery Subgroups that will begin work immediately,” the spokeswoman said.

“These subgroups include:

• The Environmental Recovery Subgroup

• The Infrastructure Recovery Subgroup (water, roads, and transport)

• The Building Recovery Subgroup

• The Human and Social Recovery Subgroup

• The Economic Recovery Subgroup

“Council kindly asks that all community members involved remember that the recovery process takes time, patience, and commitment.

“The overall recovery of our region will be the result of achieving short and long term goals by all members of our region: individuals, businesses, and council, as well as State and Federal agencies.”

Mayor Tracy Dobie said members of the Southern Downs community are already preparing to take action as part of the recovery process.

“During the bushfires residents of Stanthorpe and Applethorpe acted swiftly and responded to the direction of emergency services personnel calmly and carefully,” Cr Dobie said.

“Now, as we begin the recovery process, residents are assessing where the can assist one another.

“We are already seeing a side of this community that everyone should be proud of.

“Neighbour helping neighbour, those who can help are ready to assist those who have been hit hardest by the bushfires.

“Throughout the recovery process Southern Downs Regional Council will be partnering with GIVIT to facilitate the acceptance and dispersing of donations.”

For more information regarding GIVIT visit

Residents who are in need can register at the Recovery Hub at the Stanthorpe Civic Centre. The Recovery Hub is open 7 days from 9am to 5pm. There are a variety of services available at the hub to assist residents during the recovery process.

Mayor Dobie said in the wake of the recent and destructive bushfires the council will offer 4000L of drinking water per property to affected rural land owners at no cost.

Eligible properties directly affected by the bushfires have been identified by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and the council’s water offer will be rolled out across the region in two stages.

The first stage is available immediately until 3pm next Wednesday 18 September and offers 4000L of water to affected properties in Stanthorpe and Applethorpe.

The second stage will be rolled out to affected properties in Ballandean and Pozieres and these dates will be announced shortly.

The council has also announced that critical water restrictions of 100L per person per day will be immediately and temporarily lifted for bushfire-affected residents and some businesses in the Stanthorpe area.

Water restrictions will be lifted for residents and some businesses on town and tank water, and will continue until 5pm next Wednesday 18 September.



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