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"Don't hold a hose" Morrison Government has ignored the Bushfire Royal Commission

The Beagle Editor,

"I've been through three fires in my shire. I made a submission to the Royal Commission and I attended Parliament on the day the Royal Commission findings were handed down. It's four years since I lost my home and I'm still waiting for Morrison to act on the recommendations!" - Jan, Bega Valley Shire

At least nine of the ten main recommendations of the Royal Commission have not been implemented. according to the Emergency Leaders for Climate Action.

ELCA warned the Morrison Government in April and May of 2019 that we were about to have unprecedented bushfires and asked the government to get big water bombing planes.

Recommendation 8.1 for a sovereign aerial firefighting capability recommendation was only “noted” by the Morrison Government.

The Bushfire Royal Commission said Australia should have “an Australian-based and registered national aerial firefighting capability” including a large or very large air tanker and helicopter capability.

Recommendation 14.1 for nationally consistent air quality information, health advice and interventions has been “supported in principle”, but not accepted or implemented. There were over 400 people who died as a result of bushfire smoke in 2019-2020.

Recommendation 15.3 for prioritising mental health during and after natural disasters has been accepted but not implemented. Many people are still struggling with trauma from the fires, made worse for those who are still without a proper home. Worse still, for those who've been hit by multiple climate disasters, psychiatrists are observing that there is a multiplier effect on mental health.

The environmental data recommendation has been supported, but only in principle so far. The same neglect occurs with Leadership of First Nations people in their land and fire management. The recommendation to create simpler disaster recovery funding has been accepted, but not implemented.

Accountability mechanisms at the Australian Government level have been accepted, but this critical recommendation has not been implemented.

Many of the recommendations need state governments to be part of the implementation, but the main responsibility for failure is with the Commonwealth.

What was the purpose of this Royal Commission? Was it to protect our future, or was it for the Morrison Government to defuse criticism of its failures during the fires?

It’s been 562 days since the Royal Commission handed its report to the government. My partner and I made a submission to the Commission. But we are despairing that there is so little action on climate change which the Royal Commission said was the fundamental driver of these tragic fires and other catastrophes. Why is there so little leadership from the federal government to stop such widespread destruction and tragedy happening again … and again? Jack Egan

Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action Coordinator South East Climate Alliance

Above: no sign of Scott Morrison since this last visit. Many suspect that he fears confrontation should he return for his failures around the Bushfire Royal Commission. Image is the choice of the Editor and was not provided.

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