'Heart-warming': Frecklington applauds community response
POLITICIANS from all over the state have descended on Stanthorpe in the wake of the ongoing bushfire disaster.
Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington joined Member for Southern Downs James Lister on a tour of the Granite Belt earlier today.
While visiting Stanthorpe Fire Station, Ms Frecklington called for party politics to be put to one side.
"It's been wonderful to be able to meet with some rural fireys, emergency services and volunteers out at the showgrounds," she said.
"Its been really heart-warming to see the community reaction to such devastating fires.
"We also visited with Kim Vogel, who lost his home, and it's just devastating but the community support for Kim was just really heart-warming.
"To see the number of houses saved because of the hard work of our firefighters is simply incredible.
"It's very important that both the local, state and federal government's work together once this incident is over.
"We know there is help out there and available to people displaced or those who have felt the affects of the fire.
"Its very important that the community sees that support from a government level and politics isn't played."
Mr Lister said he was proud to represent the Granite Belt.
"The community has been extraordinary in the way it has pulled together.
"Everyone seems to instinctively understand where they can play a part and they all support one another," he said.
As the severity of the fires drop on the Granite Belt people have been asking the question: should rural firefighters be paid?
For six days they've put their own lives on hold to save the community around them.
Ms Frecklington said the focus at the moment should remain on supporting the fireys, with arguments over pay to come later.
"All those topics always come up during disasters such as this," she said.
"What we need to do right now is make sure the rural fireys get all the support they need.
"In relation to any other aspects and arguments around paid or not paid, I think that should be left for after the disaster."