Campfires are prohibited for the duration of time within the Cooloola Recreation Area because people cannot be trusted to operate one safely, according to Minister of the Environment Meaghan Scanlon.
Scanlon replied to a Parliamentary Question on Notice from Gympie MP Tony Perrett about the current indefinite ban that he could link with Fraser Island bushfires.
She noted that reducing bushfire danger (to the safety of humans and critical habitat for animals) was not the sole reason behind the ban, which was in place all over the Cooloola Recreation Area, except Inskip Point.
The safety of campers themselves, and tiny children, was a significant concern.
“The Department of Environment and Science implements a number of measures to enhance visitor safety and protect and maintain the Cooloola Recreation Area’s significant natural and cultural values,” she added.
“This is the case with the recent introduction of zoning to the Teewah Beach campground, the introduction of an automatic license plate technology, and the restriction on campfires in open areas.”
Only cooking and heating appliances that meet the specified requirements are still allowed while camping.
They may also not be permitted under a complete fire ban.
Perrett noted that the ban covered “fires in drums, open containers, and campfires” and requested when the ban would become “brought forward for consultation.”
The ban has been issued “to reduce the risk of bushfires, protect critical habitat of native wildlife (and) enhance visitor safety from campfire related injuries.”
Gas appliances that are fully enclosed (or produced fuel), heating, and cooking equipment can still be used subject to conditions.