SLOW RECOVERY: Teams are moving in to rebuild the Granite Belt after fire.
SLOW RECOVERY: Teams are moving in to rebuild the Granite Belt after fire. Contributed

ROAD TO RECOVERY: SDRC plans to resume 'business as usual'

THE Granite Belt is slowly rising from the ashes as recovery groups move in and start to pick up the pieces of fire-affected communities.

According to Mayor Tracy Dobie the priority is to return to "business as usual” as quickly as possible to minimise the economic impact of bushfire.

Fast-acting committees have worked to clear all of the roads and Cr Dobie reports all residents have returned home "except those whose homes have been destroyed.”

Impact assessments by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services have been completed, which allows for reconstruction efforts to begin.

A marketing campaign has already launched to attract tourism to the area, emphasising the importance of financial support during tough times.

"We're telling everyone we're open for business,” Cr Dobie said.

"They should come here and stay in our accommodation and spend money in town.”

Recovery plan committees convened to develop a strategic support plan that aims to support residents affected directly and indirectly by fire.

These committees will target recovery of the environment, infrastructure, buildings, people and the economy.

The community recovery hub at the Stanthorpe Civic Centre will play a major role in the long-term recovery effort as it works to connect residents with the relevant support services and information, such as donations from GIVIT or mental health access.

Cr Dobie said the hub would downsize and move to the main street in the coming days, but will remain open with local staff for the foreseeable future.

"I'm keen to see residents come and take advantage of the hub,” she said.

"Please come in and talk about what's happened and report all damage sustained because we need to have a good understanding of how residents, particularly rural residents, have been affected.

"Even if you don't think you're entitled to anything you should come in and talk to councillors so we can make sure you're happy with where you are.”

The recovery effort isn't expected to impact any pre-existing council construction efforts.

"Nothing has been stalled,” Cr Dobie said.

It is estimated that it will take months, and possibly years, for everything to return to what it was and council has encouraged patience and commitment to see it through.

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