Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Jack Dempsey has thanked Emergency Services, volunteers and council staff who worked as a “well oiled machine” overnight at the Spotted Dog and Federal Backpackers fire.
All 62 backpackers were evacuated safely and taken to the Bundaberg Civic Centre, then moved to accommodation houses.
“It was a nostalgic moment for the Civic Centre to be used as temporary evacuation centre, as it was during the floods,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“All the backpackers were quickly offered beds around Bundaberg and we offer a big thank you to the accommodation houses who have taken in the backpackers and are looking after them.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are now working on official paperwork for the backpackers, most of whom have lost everything in the fire.
QFES and Council will be working on the structural assessment of the building in the coming days.
“We would ask that people keep away from the area, so the authorities can do their job safely,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“The owners, workers and backpackers are in our thoughts today, as they come to terms with what has happened.
“Their health and mental wellbeing are our main priority and community agencies have really stepped up.
“I know that a lot of people in the community want to help and the best way is by supporting local charities, who will be helping the backpackers with whatever they need.”