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Ignorance to Global Warming Impacting Bushfire Season

14 September 2016
Rosalie Woodruff MP

Wednesday 14 September 2016

Rosalie Woodruff MP to move—

That the House:—

(1)           Acknowledges with great concern that for every month of 2016 there have been above average temperatures for Australia, and that the year to July 2016 was +1.33 degrees Celsius above the long-term average, the largest anomaly since record-taking began.

(2)           Understands that summer 2015/2016 was the fourteenth consecutive southern Australia fire season with warmer than average (October to April) temperatures.

(3)           Notes that the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC), of which the Tasmanian Fire Service is a participant, has released the Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for the 2016-17 fire season.

(4)           Recognises this Bushfire Outlook explicitly acknowledges the pattern of well above average global temperatures in Australia is due to global warming.

(5)           Further understands that the likelihood of above average temperatures this summer in Tasmania is in the range of 60 to 80 per cent, and that summer-like temperatures are likely to start earlier than has historically been the case.

(6)           Acknowledges that global warming is resulting in increasingly narrow time periods each year within which fuel-reduction burns can be safely conducted, and that concludes the wet forecast for spring will mean very limited opportunities for planned burning across Tasmania until at least autumn 2017.

(7)           Recognises the Bushfire Outlook advice that grassland fuels will provide a significant threat in the New Year when they are cured.

(8)           Calls on the Government to:—

(a)           assess the impact of global warming on management practices in relation to the timing and intensity of fuel-reduction burns;

(b)           establish targets for all households in high-risk bushfire areas to have household Bushfire Management Plans; and

(c)           direct more resources into training local bushfire volunteers so that they can effectively educate the community about bushfire risk and protection.