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Premier Fails to Address the Biggest Issue in State of the State

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Tags: Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Bushfires, Climate Change

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader, Parks and Climate Change spokesperson

The Premier spoke for forty minutes in his State of the State address today, and despite acknowledging the drought, unprecedented dry lightning strikes, bushfires that irreversibly damaged the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and a devastating virus hurting oyster growers, he only made passing reference to climate change.

Describing the conditions that led to the devastating fires as ‘acts of nature’, the Premier continued the long tradition of denialism and climate whitewashing from Liberal leaders, like former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

It is simply reckless and irresponsible to talk around the events of the past Summer as anything other than evidence of a changing climate.

Instead of pretending the climate isn’t changing, a modern leader would be acknowledging reality and stepping out a path to deal with that reality.

Tasmania is being significantly impacted by global warming.  We need leadership at a time like this.  Instead, we got a puerile and unstatesmanlike swipe at the Greens for calling for more remote fire-fighting resources to save Gondwanan landscapes in the TWWHA.

The Premier knows we weren’t criticising the on-ground response from fire-fighters and in fact repeatedly expressed our gratitude for their efforts.  We were calling for crews on the ground to be given greater remote capacity to fight the fires. 

In criticising us, the Premier is trying to deflect from the fact that his government did not call for extra resourcing to protect Tasmania’s wilderness assets until well after the fires had got out of control.

Climate change is the new normal.  We need to support the Senate’s independent inquiry to ensure in future, we are better prepared for a Summer like the last one.