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Bushfire Management - Review and Recommendations
Dr WOODRUFF question to MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, Ms ARCHER
Tasmanians have just endured a frightening and exhausting summer fighting
massive bushfires. We have lost 6 per cent of our globally significant
world heritage areas. We nearly lost several whole towns and communities.
An El Niño is predicted for next summer and it is likely to make the
summer of 2020 even hotter and drier than the last one we have endured.
The planet is staggering dangerously close to an uncontrollable climate
tipping point. Despite this the minister's federal Liberal colleague,
Josh Frydenberg, delivered a budget that denies the reality of climate
change and the science that describes it. He talks about droughts and
fires like they are an act of God. He has put no extra money at all into
bushfire preparation or response to help protect the Tasmanian Wilderness
World Heritage Area or Tasmanian communities.
Will you call out your federal colleagues for their failure to recognise
the severe threat of climate change and to coordinate a national response
to the increasing number of disasters that our volatile climate will bring?
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question. I was ensuring that I
had all the information available because this Government has done a lot
in relation to bushfire preparation in a number of different ways. In the
last session of parliament, I believe it was the Premier who addressed the
House in question time about all the initiatives we have put into not only
bushfire preparation but in relation to the last set of bushfires and the
review that occurred and all the recommendations that have been
Dr Woodruff - You have no action on climate change.
Ms ARCHER - The member correctly addressed me as the Minister for the
Environment - but the member took her time to realise I am the minister
responsible for the Office of Climate Change within the Tasmanian
Government, which sits in the Department of Premier and Cabinet, so it is
my portfolio responsibility. We are doing a lot in relation to climate
Ms O'Connor - What are you doing? You want to log the high
Ms ARCHER - If the members would like to hear my response I am quite
prepared to say that since late 2018 we know that lightning strikes have
ignited a number of bushfires causing damage to the TWWHA. This follows
the significant bushfire events that we saw in 2013 and 2016, which also
caused extensive damage to the TWWHA. We acknowledge that. That is why
the Tasmanian Government is committed to protecting our wilderness world
heritage area and we have made substantial investments in developing
strategies, systems and tools for managing bushfire risk in that region.
Following the fires that threatened the TWWHA in 2016 our Government
committed $250 000 to the TWWHA bushfire and climate change research