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Disappointing Narrow Focus for Bushfire Royal Commission

In a media release from 350 Eurobodalla they say "It is disappointing that the Royal Commission into Natural Disaster Response will not include the role of climate change in contributing to the bushfires of 2019/20 and beyond in an explicit way.

"The Royal Commissions terms of reference and time frame of only 6 months do not adequately allow for serious consideration and recommendations of the need for the urgent reduction of emissions.

"It’s like we have cancer and an infection and the government only wants to treat the infection and is ignoring the cancer.

"A representative of climate action group 350 Eurobodalla attended a Community Forum of the Royal Commission yesterday along with people from the Coastwatchers, the National Parks Association, the RFS and Eurobodalla Shire Council.

"We asked the Royal Commission to consider that the scale and intensity of the bushfires represent a climate emergency and that Australia’s emission should be reduced urgently.

"The Commission acknowledges that climate change had a role in the fires, but they are not going to deal with it.

"Back in April and May last year the federal government was warned to prepare for extreme fires. The retired emergency leaders asked for more big water bombing aircraft, but no action was taken.

"In 2009 the Garnaut Report warned that rising emissions would lead to extreme bushfires and that would be apparent by 2020. Unless we act to reduce emissions, the bushfires will continue to get worse.

"The forum was told that local businesses are in urgent need of cash assistance with corona virus coming on top of the fires. Employees, especially casual and seasonal workers are struggling as the tourism industry has huge losses.

"Another issue raised was the logging of native forests and the limits to the effectiveness of hazard reduction with a shorter season for burning off. This is a further impact of climate change.

"Evacuation centres need air conditioning and air filtering with better provision for the elderly and people with disabilities," the media release concluded.

Above: smoke over Queen Street, Moruya

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