'Catastrophic' Bushfire Leaves Fraser Island Facing Significant Ecological Damage

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed on December 2 that a full review into the response to Fraser Island’s significant bushfire damage had been approved.

The fire, which has been burning for over six weeks has “destroyed almost half of the world-heritage-listed national park,” according to Australian media.

Palaszczuk stated: “It’s understandable that those who love the island want to be assured that everything that could be done to protect it has and is being done. That is why I can confirm the inspector-general emergency management has been instructed to conduct a full review.”

Visitors have been barred from the island since November 27. Dr Gabriel Conroy, a conservation biologist at the University of the Sunshine Coast, told the Guardian that the scale of fire damage represented a “catastrophe,” for the area.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services told the Guardian on December 1 that the fire was encroaching on the Valley of the Giants, a region on the island that is home to trees more than a millennium old.

This footage was shot from waters off the eastern side of Fraser Island on November 29. Credit: Jodi Alexander via Storyful