165 recommendations to prevent bushfire disasters
THE summer bushfires seem like a distant memory for some amid the pandemic chaos, but the work to find solutions to prevent future devastation hasn't stopped.
Emergency Leaders for Climate Action today launched the Australian Bushfire and Climate Plan, a series of 165 recommendations for more effective bushfire readiness, response, and recovery.
The Former Commissioner for Fire and Rescue NSW, Greg Mullins, said many different agencies, professions and groups came together to put the plan together.
"The common theme was we must have action on climate change, as the world warms the disasters are going to get worse," Mr Mullins said.
"The weather conditions could not have occurred without climate change and it's driving climate disasters we can't cope with."
Some recommendations are calling on the federal and state governments to join to create a net zero emission policy, phase out fossil fuels programs and create a levy on the fossil fuel industry.
"We need to hold the government to account, the federal government was missing in action particularly during the summer," Mr Mullins said
"But things that can be done immediately, the federal government can provide more funding for aircraft.
"We need more funding for national parks for remote fire crews, funding to retain volunteer firefighters and a national app for bushfire warnings.
Lismore City councillor Elly Bird supported the inquiry, especially the recommendations assisting communities by giving them the resources to prepare and recover from natural disasters in ways to best serve their regions.
"With adequate funding being put into community initiatives, there's enough interest and engagement in building community resilience so we can enable communities to take leadership in this space," Cr Bird said.
"We can't take a nationwide or statewide approach for any particular initiatives; we need to resource local communities to implement the projects they know will support them in future."
Mr Mullins said he was hopeful the recommendations would be adopted but realised there might be a long road ahead before any action is taken.
"The fact is there's been dozens of bushfires inquiries over the years with dozens of recommendations that hasn't been acted on," he said.
"But I'm hopeful the state inquires will come up with similar recommendations."