We may celebrate Australia Day as the day to recognise how wonderful it is to live in this great country but to really appreciate the Aussie spirit just add a disaster (natural or manmade) and see how the community responds. Well, the recent January bushfire on Bribie which threatened Banksia Beach State School and The Bribie Community Arts Centre yet again demonstrated the positive community spirit that exists on Bribie.
For those of you who may have been away on holidays, shortly after midday on January 17, a multi-agency local and state government response was initiated after authorities were alerted to a bushfire off Hornsby Road at Bellara. Warm northerly winds fanned the fire which spread through the National Park. On Friday, the fire came close to Banksia Beach State School and the Community Arts Centre.
Firefighting assets successfully protected these facilities and Sunderland Drive was closed for periods of time due to smoke and fire hazard. Wayne Brown, Station Officer for Bribie Island’s Queensland Fire & Emergency Services, says that the performance by all those who were involved in successfully fighting the bushfire came down to everyone just doing their jobs. He said crews worked tirelessly over the weekend to bring the fire under control, and it was a tremendous result that no life, properties or local assets were lost and a credit to the training and preparedness of all those agencies involved.
Wayne praised the great work by all the agencies that were involved in the logistics of fighting the fire including the Rural Fire Service, QPS (police), QAS (ambulance), SES (State Emergency Services), Queensland Parks and Wildlife, Moreton Bay Regional Council. As well as the great help they received from HQ Plantations.
But it was instances such as when the water tank operator from Gem Life Retirement Village turned up and offered his tanker and its load of thousands of litres of water to fight the fire that really impressed him. “We had people turning up with food and drink for the men and women on the front line which was gratefully received,” he said. Wayne said that one of his team stated they had just eaten the best ham and salad roll in their life.
The Bribie Islander knows from looking at all the Facebook comments that there are far too many businesses and individuals to mention here who contributed to supporting the people on the front line. But a special shout out to Big Bun Bakery offering free coffees to those fighting the fire, Global Care who took sandwiches and cold drinks out to the police officers directing traffic, and Natasha Jones from Cornetts IGA who made heaps of delicious rolls for those men and women on the front line.
To those and all the others not mentioned here who assisted with the effort a big thank you from the rest of us. You epitomise the spirit of the Bribie community.