A plan to hold a tickertape parade in Brisbane to honour heroic fireys in the wake of the bush fires crisis that's gripped Australia has met a swift backlash.
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner yesterday announced an event to honour 700 firefighters, volunteers and other personnel with a celebration in the Queensland capital next month.
At the end of the parade, to run through the CBD centre to King George Square, one firey would to be handed the keys to the city, Schrinner said.
"This is an opportunity for Brisbane residents to recognise and publicly thank our courageous firefighters, defence force, emergency services and wildlife carers for their incredible efforts," Schrinner told the Courier-Mail newspaper.
"We have volunteer firefighters, some of whom who have dropped everything and left families and jobs behind to fight these fires interstate and across the southeast in the past few months.
"There are hundreds of other unsung heroes, including the SES, defence services, wildlife rescue groups and carers who have given their time and the expertise to the assist in the aftermath of one of this country's worst natural disasters."
But the plan has been shot down by firefighters, with some describing it as a "publicity stunt".
The parade would come just weeks before Brisbane City Council elections, with polling indicating the Liberal administration and Cr Schrinner face a tough battle.
The United Firefighters Union described it as a "waste of money" that misses the mark.
"I don't think professional firefighters would like to be ticketed around at some sort of parade, it goes against the grain of what they do," UFU Queensland secretary John Oliver told the newspaper.
"They don't like the fuss. We'd rather see the money spent on preventive outcomes like upgrading water hydrants and other equipment rather than see taxpayer's money wasted on a parade."
The Courier-Mail spoke to firefighters from the state's southeast who were equally unimpressed with the "publicity stunt".
"We didn't fight any f***ing fires – all we did was drive along the side of the road and put out spot fires," one said. "It's a lot of f***ing bulls**t. It's a publicity stunt."
Hundreds of Queensland-based fireys travelled interstate to help their counterparts in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia over recent weeks.
The Lord Mayor's office was contacted for comment.
It's not just fireys who are set to be honoured, with wildlife volunteers who've worked around the clock to save and rehabilitate animals also invited.