Mungindi Fire, September 1 2020
Mungindi Fire, September 1 2020

Balonne mayor to meet with community after Mungindi inferno

THE tiny town of Mungindi in southwest Queensland, home to less than 1000 people, was rocked last night when a blaze ripped through several essential businesses including the butchery, supermarket and homewares store.

And if that's not enough, at this point in time residents are unable to travel to neighbouring town Moree Plains on the otherside of the Queensland-New South Wales border, due to mandatory 14-day quarantine rules.

Fortunately, a Disaster Management Meeting was already scheduled to go ahead today in the Balonne Shire.

Balonne mayor Samantha O'Toole said key agencies like the Queensland Police Service and Queensland Ambulance Service will be at the meeting and will be able to discuss last night's horrific fire and the next steps for the community.

"It's going to be extremely challenging, Mungindi residents are currently in a bubble," Mayor O'Toole said.

"If they travel to neighbouring town Moree Plains, they aren't allowed back into Queensland."

Ms O'Toole said she will be working alongside Katrina Humphries, the Moree Plains Shire Mayor to collaborate and discuss what can be done about the situation.

"My intention is to speak to the Katrina today and work collaboratively, in this circumstance, we'll need to be creative with our thinking and adaptable because at this stage it's incredibly difficult if people cannot access necessities," she said.

"Both councils will need to work together because we're on the border, just like Fire and Rescue NSW and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services worked together through the night.

"We had two local fire brigades attend the fire working under the direction of NSW.

"It was some benefit that were was senior QFES members in our shire due to the meeting today and fortunately, they were able to offer support straight away.

"But today, we'll be advocating whether these residents can go to Moree for essential services.

"It will be pretty ridiculous if they can't travel there, instead having to go to St George.

"It will be a tricky one but we will work through it over the next couple days."

The Western Star will provide an update on today's Disaster Management Meeting.


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