Australia unprepared for climate extremes warn emergency chiefs

Australia is woefully unprepared to face the escalating threat of climate change, 23 former Fire and Emergency Chiefs have warned in an open letter to the Federal Government.

“Emergency services are on the frontline of climate change and are witnessing devastating consequences first hand. We are deeply concerned about the lack of climate action at a national level and felt obligated to speak out,” said Greg Mullins, former NSW Fire and Rescue Commissioner.

“Emergency services are facing an escalating crisis. In the last year we’ve seen unseasonal fires in Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, floods and twin cyclones in parts of northern Australia, longer bushfire danger periods, and fires burning in rainforests.”

“Rising greenhouse gas pollution from the burning of coal, oil and gas, is worsening extreme weather and putting people in danger.”

In the open letter to the Prime Minister, the signatories have called the Government to:

  • Meet with a delegation of former emergency services leaders to discuss rapidly escalating climate change risks.

  • Commit to a parliamentary inquiry into whether Australian emergency services are adequately resourced and equipped to cope with increasing natural disaster risks due to climate change.

  • Consider current arrangements and their effectiveness and properly fund strategic national emergency management resources.

The full statement can be found here

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