One hundred days since the Bushfire Royal Commission findings were made public, the Federal Government has failed to fully endorse more than half of the Commission’s recommendations.
“One hundred days ago former fire and emergency chiefs called on the Federal Government to endorse all of the recommendations of the Commission and fund them as a matter of urgency. This has not happened. Instead the government’s response has been to ‘note’ many of the recommendations, ‘support them in principle’ or refer them to states and territories,” said Climate Council spokesperson and former Commissioner of Fire and Rescue NSW, Greg Mullins.
“I have sought clarification from the Federal Government on multiple occasions but have not received answers to my questions. It would appear the Government has not taken on the recommendations of the Royal Commission in their totality, but has avoided publicly rejecting recommendations which could result in justified public criticism,” said Mr Mullins.
“For example, the Commission recommended Australia develop a national aerial firefighting capability. The Government’s decision to “note” this and not allocate any new funding is effectively a rejection of it,” he said.
“This response is extremely troubling because Australia needs a fleet of larger aircraft. Climate change is resulting in overlapping fire seasons between the northern and southern hemisphere and we can no longer rely on being able to source large aircraft from North America when we need them,” said Mr Mullins.
“The Federal Government needs to respond to the Bushfire Royal Commission the way it responded when the report of the Banking Royal Commission was handed down in 2019. It must clearly and immediately accept all the recommendations and outline a plan for putting them in place. This Government must also provide funding for all recommendations it is yet to address in the next budget,” said Climate Council spokesperson, Professor Lesley Hughes.
“If we are to protect Australians from worsening bushfires, then we need a credible climate policy that matches what the science says is necessary. This means halving our emissions by 2030, and reaching net zero before 2040,” she said.
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