Queensland fires spark federal inquiry

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited North Stradbroke Island on Wednesday.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited North Stradbroke Island on Wednesday.

The Queensland premier says climate change caused the state's bushfire crisis and the federal government's attempts to blame her are cheap.

Annastacia Palaszczuk has lashed out at the federal government after it announced an inquiry into Queensland's land clearing and management policies in the wake of the fires.

The federal parliamentary inquiry will look at all states and territories and how their laws on vegetation and land management affect farmers.

But Queensland's laws, brought in in May to stop broadscale landclearing, will be in the spotlight amid claims they exacerbated blazes that raged across the state for two weeks.

"If Queensland's laws are locking up agriculture's potential and making fires worse, we need to know about it," federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said as he announced the probe on Friday.

The premier has hit back, telling the government to look at Queensland's unprecedented fire danger and heatwave conditions if they want the real answer.

"If you want to know what caused those conditions I'll give you an answer - its called climate change," she told reporters.

"It is only the LNP (Liberal National Party) who could watch Queensland burn and then blame the trees."

She said her government's land-clearing laws had changed nothing in terms of what farmers could do to protect their properties from bushfires.

She said every candidate at the next federal election must reveal their stance on global warming, so voters would know if they were supporting climate change deniers or not.

Under Queensland laws, farmers and landholders can still establish fire breaks without a permit, but some other clearing activities do require permits.

Cattle producer David Marland says his story shows the system is failing terribly.

He holds a lease to run cattle on 18,000 hectares of the Bulburin National Park, between Gladstone and Bundaberg.

In December last year he spent $2500 putting in fire breaks in the park and then lodged an application to carry out fuel reduction burns.

He still hasn't got his permit but it doesn't matter anymore.

His leasehold area is now black and barren after "holocaust" fires tore through. He's now having to move out cattle that grazed in the national park because there is nothing left for them to eat.

"I'd met all the criteria. They had months and months to process that. The rest is history. There's nothing there now," he told AAP on Friday.

Australian Associated Press