‘Heatwave, wind changes’: Premier defends fire fight
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has defended the management of the Fraser Island fires, instead taking aim at those who started the fire.
It comes as The Courier-Mail reveals that the state-leased water bombing plane has sat idle for a month as the island burned.
On morning television, Ms Palasczuk said state park services had the fire "under control" before it was passed to fire authorities last Friday, and that everything was "being done" to contain the fire.
"The park service had it under control initially then it got passed over to our emergency services," she said
"We have a heatwave, there's been wind changes, we've had to evacuate campers - everything that can be done is being done."
She also hit back at claims that the island had been environmentally mismanaged for years and that authorities were slow to react to the initial outbreak.
"They've actually done more backburning on Fraser Island over the past year than they had previously." she said.
"But obviously the negligent action of a group of people has unfortunately led to this situation."
Ms Palaszczuk said 17 aircraft, including the state-leased Canadian Conair air tanker Q400AT, had been involved in fighting the Fraser inferno.
It is understood the tanker was not deployed sooner because the decision was made by QPWS not to use it.
Just one month before the blaze began, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk spruiked the $15 million aircraft as a major coup for Queensland, saying it could be deployed "at moment's notice".
Originally published as 'Heatwave, wind changes': Premier defends fire fight