Over June and July 2020, Emergency Leaders for Climate Action (ELCA) hosted Australia’s first virtual bushfire and climate change summit to coordinate a national response to the Australian climate and bushfire crises. The 2020 National Bushfire and Climate Summit brought together hundreds of participants from across the country, and the world, to share their experiences, and to formulate recommendations to address the worsening risk of devastating bushfires fuelled by climate change. The Australian Bushfire and Climate Plan was the culmination of that effort.
The Australian Bushfire and Climate Plan provides a broad plan and practical ideas for governments, fire and land management agencies and communities to help mitigate and adapt to worsening fire conditions. The plan’s 165 recommendations include many measures that can be implemented right now, to ensure communities are better protected. Developed with more than 150 experts and affected community members at the National Bushfire and Climate Summit 2020, the Australian Bushfire and Climate Plan will help keep Australians as safe as possible from worsening bushfires, and support communities to build resilience and lead recovery efforts, through: The Plan was tabled in parliament today
Member for Eden Monaro, Kristy McBain said of the tabling: "On the back of this week’s interim report from the Bushfire Royal Commission and the recent findings of the NSW Bushfire Inquiry, this is another clarion call for action that looks to repair the confidence and landscape of regional communities, and builds the jobs and prosperity of the future.
"I am heartened that all three reports put forward similar themes and ideas, including the need for more land managers across the Eden Monaro landscape – in forestry, in national parks, on our farmlands and in our estuaries . Putting those jobs back in our regions not only adds to our economic base but these women and men help manage risk for the people who love and live in the natural environment of Eden Monaro .
"Yesterday marked the start of the bushfire season across much of our backyard – today on the second day of the bushfire season there is already a high fire danger along the coast.
People are rightly anxious about this season; whilst we have seen some rain it hasn’t taken away the anxiety that many people are feeling. The mental health and the resilience of our communities is being tested. We’ve had cumulative disasters and that is really taking its toll on people.
"What people need to see is action, they want to know that governments at all levels, of all persuasions are there to make sure families are going to be okay into the future. It’s really important that we work together and that we understand the trauma that so many have gone through already." Fiona Phillips, Member for Gilmore said in Parliament of bushfire preparedness: "What we have is a government and a Prime Minister that has no plan for disaster preparedness. No plan. The Prime Minister could learn from my community if he actually visited. The government had a $200 million emergency response fund to help with disaster preparedness. They let it lapse. They didn't spend a cent. "My communities are calling out for help. I have visited community group after community group, right across the South Coast. They want to know how they can get backup generators, backup communications, backup power. They want help with things like an integrated emergency management centre in Moruya. They want help with our telecommunications and our power. We want our Princes Highway fixed. We want our mobile blackspots reduced.
"There is so much that can be done, and the government hasn't spent a cent of that $200 million. It is not good enough. The government has no plan for disaster preparedness and they need to fix it now."