By Matthew Pearce
Rockhampton Regional Council has responded to Koongal resident John Malone’s concerns that Thozet Creek is a fire risk following a report in CQ Today on 30 September.
Mr Malone, who has lived in Blanchfield St, backing onto Thozet Creek, for 45 years contacted CQ Today last month, saying the creek was full of grass and weeds like leucaena.
The Koongal resident said he first contacted Rockhampton Regional Council in March, speaking to a representative from the Department of Environment and Public Health, who initially said the weeds would be cleared in July.
But despite more conversations with the council and Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke’s office, the creek still hadn’t been cleared.
“Imagine someone walks over the bridge (on Rockonia Road), throws a match down there or a cigarette, the whole thing goes up and those houses are very close here,” he said in our 30 September edition.
“I’ve seen the creek on fire before, the fire just goes goes straight to the top of the big paperbark trees and the ash sprays everywhere.
“The last time we had a fire here my brother got ash in his yard and he lives half a kilometre away.”
He said the problem wasn’t limited to Thozet Creek but Frenchman’s Creek and other creeks in the area as well.
Rockhampton Regional Council Planning and Regulation Councillor Grant Mathers said the land was owned by the State Government.
“That said, we have done some invasive plant control in this area in the past and it’s likely we’ll do so again – with approvals from the State Government,” he said.
“This is the case with some sections of public land around the region, even if they’re not technically council’s responsibility.
“If we have crews nearby and we have the resources we’ll do some invasive plant control – it’s certainly easier to prevent these plants from taking off in the first place than trying to get rid of a bigger problem late.”
He said Rockhampton Regional Council and State Government representatives assessed the site earlier this month.
“We have met with Mr Malone to chat about the site and when we will be able to carry out works,” he said.
“We always encourage residents to get in contact with us should they have issues like this and we appreciate it being brought to our attention.”