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Plan for Bushfire Season Now

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 2 July 2020

Tags: Bushfires, Climate Change, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Forests, Native Forest Logging

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Fire and Emergency Management spokesperson

UTAS bushfire experts are right, the increasing risk of catastrophic bushfires cannot be underestimated. The State Government must be preparing themselves now.

At the start of July, it’s only a few months until our bushfire season returns. Tasmania was relatively spared last bushfire season, but we can’t assume we will be that lucky again – we must be ready.

The Government must look to the future pattern of fires, and start modelling the expected changes climate heating will bring.

Last summer’s catastrophic fires on the mainland, and the previous season’s fires in Tasmania that destroyed homes, and more than 200,000ha of the TWWHA, show us the altered and more dangerous world we confront.

The national group of 33 ex-fire service chiefs are clear, we cannot control the power of climate change-fuelled intense bushfires. Governments must act to turn down the heat in the system, and cut our greenhouse gas emissions now.

The Government must end the logging of native forest, and decrease the bushfire risk to neighbouring communities that it generates. We have to keep all our existing forest carbon stores, maintaining these intact forests is also critical to reducing bushfire risk. 

The expertise of forestry workers, currently wasted in climate-damaging logging, can be redeployed into large-scale bushfire prevention and land regeneration. This is the kind of action a responsible government, facing the climate emergency, should be taking.

Just as they have with the coronavirus pandemic emergency, we urge the Liberals to keep listening to the experts. Fire chiefs, climate scientists and bushfire experts are desperate for action.