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100 days of inactivity after Bushfire Royal Commission findings

One hundred days after the Bushfire Royal Commission handed down its findings, bushfire survivors are still waiting on the federal government to take clear, decisive action on all recommendations. Source: Timberbiz

“It has been 100 days since our members travelled to Canberra to hear the Commission’s findings firsthand, we’re still waiting for all recommendations to be taken seriously,” said Jo Dodds, President, Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action.

“The government has only ‘noted’ or announced its ‘in principle’ support for many recommendations. Bushfire survivors, emergency workers and volunteers deserve clear answers, detailed timelines and transparent budgets for every recommendation, as has been the case with previous Royal Commissions.

“We’re calling on the federal government to immediately accept all recommendations and take responsibility for their implementation. What is happening in Perth shows just how critical immediate action is,” said Ms Dodds.

In particular, BSCA is calling for clarity on Recommendation 4.5: “Australian, state and territory governments should produce downscaled climate projections.”

The federal government supports this recommendation in principle, but is yet to provide full detail as to how it would be implemented.

“As fires become hotter, fiercer and more frequent due to climate change, projections will be crucial for the way communities manage fire risks,” said Fiona Lee, who lost her Warrawillah home in the 2019/20 fires.

“The Royal Commission is clear that climate change is contributing to more frequent fires, and we can expect more in the future. And yet, the Federal Government is unclear on its response to this critical recommendation and is dragging its feet on reducing emissions at the scale and pace required by the science.

“Communities won’t have peace of mind until we fully understand the risk, and there is a firm target for reaching net zero emissions well before 2040,” said Ms Lee.

Senator Murray Watt, Shadow Minister for Disaster and Emergency Management, said that as a matter of urgency the Federal Government must accept responsibility for developing and leading a sovereign aerial firefighting fleet, which will ensure Australia has access to enough valuable firefighting aircraft when fires burn across multiple areas.

“The ongoing bushfire situation in Western Australia is a clear reminder of what is at stake,” Senator Watt said.

“Bushfire survivors need, and deserve, a clear plan from the Federal Government as to how it will tackle natural disasters in the future.”