Queenslanders are being urged to take advantage of the State’s revamped Bushfire Survival Plan in the wake of alarming new findings that reveal many are unprepared to deal with a bushfire.  

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Greg Leach today launched the State’s new online Bushfire Survival Plan and awareness campaign to simplify the process for residents to prepare themselves and their loved ones for a bushfire. 

Mr Leach said it was essential all households took the time now to complete a plan, which was easily accessible on QFES’ website and tailored to meet individual circumstances.

“Queensland is on the doorstep of bushfire season, which means we are about to enter the period when the risk of fires starting and spreading is at its peak,” Mr Leach said.

“Unfortunately, our research on people’s attitudes toward bushfire preparation showed about 70 per cent of those who lived close to bushland did not have an up-to-date Bushfire Survival Plan.   

“Around 55 per cent of people surveyed who lived close to bushland had not recently considered whether they would leave or stay if a bushfire was nearby, which is one of the key decisions in a Bushfire Survival Plan.

“These are concerning results because a Bushfire Survival Plan is one of the most effective tools people can have when confronted by a fire.

“It asks people to consider actions they will take to survive a bushfire, which is why all households should have one.”

Mr Leach said QFES was taking significant steps to increase the public’s awareness and appreciation of a Bushfire Survival Plan. 

“QFES’ campaign includes on-the-ground engagement with the community backed up by statewide multi-platform advertising,” he said. 

“People can expect to see or hear information about Bushfire Survival Plans on television, radio, billboards and social media because we want everyone to be aware of and have access to this life-saving resource. 

“Our frontline personnel will also be promoting the importance of a Bushfire Survival Plan at community events and information days.”

Mr Leach said recent history demonstrated the need for Queenslanders to proactively prepare themselves and loved ones for bushfire season. 
“In the past three seasons alone, Queensland recorded more than 21,000 bushfires statewide,” he said.

“However, our research revealed almost half of all Queenslanders who lived near bushland had not recently talked about bushfire preparedness within their household.

“While QFES has been working hard to mitigate risks in the lead-up to bushfire season, we cannot do it alone.”

Mr Leach said there were simple and effective steps Queenslanders could take to reduce the risk of bushfires starting and spreading. 

“Bushfire prevention is a community effort, which is why everyone must play a role,” he said. 

“Along with creating a Bushfire Survival Plan, residents should clear their land of flammable material, remove debris from roof gutters and ensure adequate access to their property for fire trucks.

“Doing so will complement the efforts of firefighters on the frontline and ensure Queenslanders are well prepared for what this bushfire season throws at them.”

More information on preparing for bushfire season and how to develop a Bushfire Survival Plan can be found at www.qld.gov.au/bushfires

QFES’ new Bushfire Survival Plan television commercial, What Have You Got To Lose, is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEZE1rNVO0Q 

Background information

Proof Research, on behalf of QFES, surveyed 1012 Queenslanders in November 2020 to understand their attitudes and behaviours around bushfire preparation and prevention. Of those surveyed:

  • 71 per cent of people who lived within 500m of bushland had not written, updated or reviewed their Bushfire Survival Plan in the past 6 months.
  •  54 per cent of people who lived within 500m of bushland had not made or reviewed a decision to leave early or to defend their home if there was a bushfire approaching.
  • 46 per cent of people who lived within 500m of bushland had not talked about bushfire preparedness with their household in the past 6 months.