Australian PM to propose royal commission into brushfire response

James Marshall
January 13, 2020

Dale McLean, who helps cope with the response to a fire near the city of Bodalla in the state of New South Wales, was part of a team that knocked down small trees and burned down scrubbers before the planned path of the fire to try to do that Prevent fire from reaching a main road by starving it from fuel. "The fire behaviour has changed". So now we can stand in front of the fire and go on the offensive.

Other workers echoed McLean's comments, saying cooler temperatures and mild winds have finally offered them a chance to make progress. The weather is expected to remain benign for the next week, although any deterioration in conditions after that could see the wildfires flare up again. "Bit creamy and nutty but they're all right".

In the meantime, USA tennis star Serena Williams donated her $ 43,000 winning check from New Zealand's ASB Classic for the fundraiser for forest fire victims.

A courageous firefighter died while on duty on Saturday in Australia's state of Victoria, increasing the toll from this season's disastrous bushfires to 28 death losses as the power deploys mental health services to help and assist those in concerned areas.

The 60-year-old married father of two was commended in November for 40 years of service with the forestry agency.

Appearing on ABC Australia's Insiders, Morrison told host David Speers that the inquiry will examine how the government should respond to and offer support those affected by the blazes that have killed more than 20 people and destroyed more than 2,000 homes. Four of the casualties have been firefighters.

While this is all well and good, Morrison has still not flagged any meaningful changes to Australia's current climate policy.

Thousands of protesters rallied late on Friday in Sydney and Melbourne, calling for Mr Morrison to be fired and for Australia to take tougher action on global warming.

Dr David C Holmes, Director of the Climate Change Communication Research Hub at Monash University, spoke to about the impact of climate change on the current Australian bushfire season.

Morrison said his government is developing a national disaster risk reduction framework within the Home Office that will deal with forest fires, hurricanes, floods and drought.

"Perhaps [it] gives some indication about how much pressure it is under when it comes to climate change", she said.

On Sunday, Mr Morrison conceded that he agrees that climate change is driving longer, hotter and drier summer seasons and the government's emissions targets need to "evolve".

Critics have slammed Morrison for his staunch support of Australia's coal industry and his previous reluctance to acknowledge the role climate change has played in intensifying the fires.

A minority of the fires are deliberately lit, according to state authorities.

On Sunday, the PM said the scale of the bushfires was "unprecedented" and had created a situation in which Australians were demanding a greater response from the federal government than had been provided in the past.

Morrison rejected criticism that his government had not done enough before the wildfire season started, but he admitted that once the fires started, some responses could have been different.

When asked why he chose to holiday overseas instead of in Australia, Mr Morrison said "the irony of all of this was my original intention was to holiday on the South Coast for two weeks". "But I am also very mindful, as is the government, of the very real scars that will be there for quite a period of time to come for those who've been exposed to the trauma of these bushfires".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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