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Gladstone Mayor Reveals Some Residents Are Refusing To Evacuate

Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett has revealed that some people have refused to obey evacuation orders, since the bushfires broke out at Deepwater and Round Hill.

40 people attended Monday's community meeting in Miriam Vale, a second community meeting was held at Agnes Water with over 200 showing up to that one.

Mayor Burnett said "all the information was provided to everyone of everything they needed, it was good to see our community rallying together to see who they could support".

The Mayor touched on the Givit initiative, saying all the details will be posted on Council's Facebook page. He said basically they will be able to help coordinate where people want to donate, whether it's toiletries or bedding or food of whatever might be necessary, they'll be able to coordinate that because that's what they do best and the firies fight the fires.

Gladstone Regional Council has partnered with GIVIT, a national not-for-profit organisation, connecting members of the Gladstone Region and wider communities wishing to donate goods and services to those affected by the Deepwater bushfires.

GIVIT is managing all offers of donated goods and services during this disaster.

Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett said 100% of donated money received by GIVIT will be used to purchase essential items.

“GIVIT purchases items from local providers, this ensures we are supporting the local economy as it also recovers,” Councillor Burnett said.

“At this crucial time, it is important not to overwhelm on-the-ground charities.

“Please do not send your donations into the affected area - check GIVIT’s website over the coming days and weeks to see exactly what is needed right now.”

Gladstone Regional Council has also started a Facebook group to allow those seeking to assist through temporarily housing animals and livestock of evacuated residents from the Deepwater bushfires.

“For those wanting to help and offer assistance with re-homing or providing refuge for domestic animals and livestock, Council has set-up a public group on Facebook,” Cr Burnett said.

“The group is called ‘GRC – Deepwater Bushfire – Animal and Livestock Refuge.

“If you can temporarily help, please post your contact information in the group to allow evacuated residents to contact you directly.

He said the danger looks to have shifted from Agnes Creek area, with the biggest concern now for the Baffle Creek, Deepwater area but he said that doesn't mean that conditions can't change depending on which way the wind goes.

The Mayor said while the blaze is heading in the direction of Agnes Water, crews on the ground feel like it's manageable, but it is still out of control in Deepwater.

He also welcomed news that 100 firefighters from New South Wales will arrive at Gladstone Airport on Tuesday. They will relieve the crews at Baffle Creek and Agnes Water as soon as they can.

Mayor Burnett said it is also his understanding that a few people didn't want to leave their homes in the past few days, despite the evacuation notice.

He said "you only need to be within 100 metres of this fire and you'll know exactly why you need to leave, there's no controlling it, protecting our properties is all our local crews can do at the moment".

"So what we're saying to people if you are evacuating, stay with family and friends, if you can't stay with family and friends in Gladstone or Bundy, we have an evacuation centre set up at the Miriam Vale.

Anyone who is evacuating is encouraged to register with The Red Cross via the following link - https://register.redcross.org.au/

For those seeking refuge; it is advised to first seek shelter with friends and family.

If unable, Miriam Vale Community Centre (41 Blomfield Street) is established as a place of refuge.

Miriam Vale Showgrounds (located off the Bruce Highway) is now open for residents in the Deepwater and Baffle Creek impacted areas with caravans or camping trailers.

Amenities available on site: A shower block and toilet block are located on site. There is also a cartridge disposal unit close to the Showgrounds.

Mayor Burnett said he would love to see some rain, but there's none on the cards on Tuesday. There is a 60 per-cent chance of rain in Gladstone on Wednesday. We could also see a thunderstorm develop.

Michelle Price has been working as a journalist since 1999 and loves human interest pieces.

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