Bushfire damage on a family farm near Esk.
Bushfire damage on a family farm near Esk.

Council to vote on waving repair fees for fire victims

THOUGH the recent bushfires have been overshadowed by recent rainfall and flooding, the impact has not gone unforgotten by one local council.

Somerset Regional Council is continuing to fast-track payments to emergency services following the devastating bushfire season.

"The magnitude of the loss and destruction felt across Somerset and Australia by these bushfires has been truly horrific," Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said.

"Council recognises the unending dedication our firefighters have to the community, risking their lives in extremely dangerous conditions."

Council this week announced a contribution of $691,000 to Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

This follows payment of $106,000 made last month to support more than 20 volunteer fire brigades in the region.

Cr Lehmann said the council had fast tracked both payments in recognition of the country's bushfire crisis.

"In providing these funds now, council hopes to make the job of our firefighters that little bit easier."

In further recognition of the impact this fire season has had, discussions will be made at next week's Somerset Council meeting to consider waiving some of the fees involved with demolition, removal, repair or reconstruction, for those residents whose properties were damaged or destroyed during the fires.

Help from outside the region will also be on its way to assist with the fire clean-up, with the Somerset SES Unit being joined by members from Logan this week.

Cr Lehmann said the crews would be based at Esk Showgrounds and would work with a number of landholders across Somerset.

"We're expecting about 50 people from Logan and I can't thank them enough for their support," he said.

"Of course we've recently been dealing with flash flooding after rain, but people impacted by the fires have not been forgotten."