Queensland Energy and Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle has thanked firefighters, police and other state emergency services personnel who have spent over a week battling a major bushfire during increasingly hot, dry and unpredictable conditions in North Stradbroke Island and paid tribute to Energex and Seqwater.
“Like most Queenslanders watching the devastating bushfire unfold on North Stradbroke Island over the last week, I was in awe of the sheer power of the fire and humbled by the mighty efforts of countless number of people who are determined to manage it,” Mr McArdle said.
“I congratulate and thank everyone involved for their ongoing efforts to safely reduce the level of damage that would otherwise be associated with a major Australian bushfire, especially one that is occurring in the middle of the hottest and driest part of our summer so far.”
Energex, Seqwater and Redland Council staff worked tirelessly to maintain energy and water supply services on North Stradbroke Island, as well as in other parts of the Redland Council area.
“Despite the increasing demand associated with the scorching heat right across Queensland, Energex and Seqwater continued to work with Redland Council and other agencies to restore and maintain services,” he said.
“Energex, Seqwater and Redland Council worked together to restore and maintain water and power supply against increasing odds, including significant bushfire damage to assets.”
Energex and Seqwater are well advanced in restoring all permanent electricity and water services to the island.
Energex Chief Executive Officer Terry Effeney joined the Minister on the visit today and said he was proud of the efforts of Energex staff in difficult circumstances.
“The blaze was sparked by lightning on 29 December and has devastated an estimated 60 per cent of the vegetation on North Straddie,” he said.
“There was extensive damage to primary and backup power supplies at Dunwich, Amity Point and Point Lookout. Crews restored the main power supply to Stradbroke Island over the last couple of days and we have also used mobile generation to support the communities as part of the restoration program.
“I am proud of how safely and quickly crews restored power to affected areas and more recently, how much great progress has been made in restoring all permanent electricity services.
“Well done to all who contributed to the bushfire response. Your efforts have made us proud, and help to demonstrate our commitment to the safety and security of the community.”