Brisbane firefighters, volunteers, service personnel and wildlife carers involved in the devastating East Coast bushfire effort will be honoured with a ticker tape parade and the Keys to the City.
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner announced the parade to honour our local bushfire heroes would run through the city centre and end at King George Square where they will be presented with the Keys to the City.
“This is an opportunity for Brisbane residents to recognise and publicly thank our courageous firefighters, defence force, emergency services and wildlife carers for their incredible efforts,” he said.
“We have volunteer firefighters, some of whom who have dropped everything and left families and jobs behind to fight these fires interstate and across the South East in the past few months.
“There are hundreds of other unsung heroes, including the SES, defence services, wildlife rescue groups and carers who have given their time and the expertise to assist in the aftermath of one of this country’s worst natural disasters.”
Queensland volunteer firefighters have been fighting catastrophic blazes in New South Wales and last year many were also deployed to fires across the South East, including Chapel Hill, Mt Crosby, Gatton, Somerset, Kilcoy and Boonah.
The Lord Mayor has also announced an initiative to allow owner occupiers of residential properties to donate their pay-on-time rates discount to bushfire relief charities.
“Every owner-occupier resident receives a rates discount if they pay their rates on time and for the next round of rates notices, eligible residents can opt to donate that discount to the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust (LMCT) which will be distributed for bushfire relief. Money will also be collected on the day and distributed through the LMCT.
“There has been a tragic loss of life, people have lost their homes, their possessions and businesses. In some cases, entire towns have been virtually wiped from the map.
“There are people who escaped the inferno with just the clothes on their back. They are still living in emergency shelters.
“Charities are on the ground and doing a phenomenal job supporting residents who are struggling right now.
“The vision of dead or injured wildlife and koalas has been particularly distressing, so it’s important to also recognise the efforts of our wildlife carers, many of who are still caring for wildlife burnt during fires that raged to the west of Brisbane in November.
“In times of need, Brisbane steps up to help our fellow Australians, and we can all contribute whether it’s hands on, such as our firefighters and wildlife carers, or by donating to bushfire relief funds through our rates or direct to charities.
“I encourage residents to donate their rates discount to help these charities help the bushfire relief effort. This support will be vital to the affected communities, while they begin to recover and rebuild.”
A highly successful rates discount donation initiative raised more than $3 million for the City Hall Restoration Fund between 2010 and 2014.
To date Council has already donated $200,000 in fire and drought relief this summer.
The timings of the Bushfire Heroes ticker tape parade and Keys to the City event will be arranged in consultation with the organisations involved in the bushfire relief effort.