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Australia NSW welcomes bushfire royal commission's Black Summer recommendations

13:01  30 october  2020
13:01  30 october  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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The bushfire royal commission named climate change as a key factor of last summer 's catastrophic fires , with last year being the country's hottest year National aerial firefighting fleet among bushfire royal commission ' s 24 recommendations . Skip to sections navigation Skip to content Skip to footer.

The royal commission will consider how governments can better prepare and respond to bushfires . "This royal commission accepts, it acknowledges, it understands the impact of climate change, more broadly, on the climatic conditions that Australia is living in," Mr Morrison said.

a man wearing a helmet: The royal commission recommends the Commonwealth take a greater role when natural disasters are hitting the country. (ABC News) © Provided by ABC NEWS The royal commission recommends the Commonwealth take a greater role when natural disasters are hitting the country. (ABC News)

A former New South Wales fire chief is among those calling on the Federal Government to take urgent action on climate change as the Black Summer royal commission's findings hit Parliament.

Eighty recommendations feature in the report, which acknowledges the evidence that climate change will continue to increase the frequency and intensity of natural disasters.

Former top firefighter Greg Mullins is leading calls for the Government to act on the recommendations.

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Bushfire Royal Commission recommends national emergency powers. The Royal Commission report into last summer ’ s catastrophic bushfires The final report makes several recommendations in relation to climate change, after hearing from experts who said the warming planet boosted the fires .

A national Royal Commission into Australia’ s devastating Black Summer bushfires will be established following agreement from the Governor-General Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the scale of the Black Summer bushfires presented new challenges for all levels of government, which

"We need the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition to immediately endorse all 80 recommendations, to commit to fund them no matter who is in government, and to take urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions," he said.

The report recommended the Commonwealth be given the power to declare a state of emergency during natural disasters, even if the states and territories had not asked for help.

The report also called for more aerial firefighting resources and the development of an all-hazard emergency warning app.

#top

Key recommendations:

  • National State of Emergency
  • Air quality monitor
  • Climate change
  • Fire rating system
  • Hazard reduction burns
  • Aerial firefighting resources
  • Emergency warning app
  • Better communications
  • Charity reforms
  • Advice on where we live

#emergency

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Smoke from the Black Summer bushfires killed nearly 450 people and affected 80 per cent of the population, health experts tell the ongoing royal The commission , which is looking into Australia' s preparedness for and responses to natural disasters, is hearing from health experts about the short

Key points The inquiry analysed NSW ' s approach to last season' s bushfires , which burnt 5.3 million hectares The report gave recommendations about hazard reduction, fauna and mental health The independent inquiry made 76 recommendations in the wake of Australia' s Black Summer

'You can't tell me that was normal'

Gilmore MP Fiona Phillips's electorate on the NSW South Coast was one of the areas hardest hit by the summer bushfires.

She said the royal commission's findings showed the Federal Government should have responded more quickly, which she said was something "we knew all along".

"The Federal Government should have stepped in sooner," she said.

"So I am pleased there are some recommendations acknowledging that the Federal Government needs to play a greater role.

"The Federal Government needs to have strong policies to address climate change.

"We've got countries around the world willing to accept that, but still Scott Morrison doesn't accept that."

Glen Innes Severn Council Mayor Carol Sparks she thought the report could have been "a lot firmer on reducing our emissions".

On the NSW North Coast, Senior Deputy Captain of the Nimbin Rural Fire Service Charlie Cohen, who has been a firefighter for 42 years welcomed the acknowledgement of climate change in the bushfire disaster.

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Bushfire royal commission findings. Recovery efforts after last summer ' s fires are ongoing. Today' s recommendations will come amid warnings of hotter, drier seasons ahead. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced Stage 2 of the redevelopment — which will include a new intensive

Frontline firefighters urge the NSW Rural Fire Service to fast-track upgrades to equipment and communications which were revealed by last season' s bushfires to have potentially Their concerns are being raised ahead of the NSW bushfire inquiry recommendations being made public tomorrow.

"There's no way you could tell me that [season] was normal," he said.

"[The Federal Government] has been fobbing it off for years and now it's finally been written down in black and white."

He supported the recommendation that local governments should get national and state assistance to create escape routes by clearing roadside vegetation.

"In our area the whole place is a death trap," he said.

"If you didn't leave early you were in big trouble."

Aerial capabilities

The commission recommended domestically based aerial firefighting capability be developed, given the reliance on assets based in the northern hemisphere, as well as predictions that fire seasons all over the globe would grow longer and overlap.

"With the Mount Nardi fire, if there had been one more helicopter free then we would have been able to put it out at the very beginning," Mr Cohen said.

"It would have made what we did safer, because we really had to stick our necks out doing remote firefighting.

"It's dangerous without helicopters to assist you."

In the NSW Snowy Mountains, Wondalga Rural Fire Service Captain Steve Walsh said more aerial support would be welcome.

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"In response to the NSW Independent Bushfire Inquiry recommendations , the key issues for our sector are coordination and rationalisation of the broad range of imagery sources and providers. "Our focus will be on ensuring there are automated processing pipelines that deliver these data in as near

SYDNEY, NSW . The bushfire royal commission report has made 80 recommendations after the deadly 2019-2020 season. Addedan hour ago.

"The area we live in is quite remote, with both state forests and national parks, and such we are surrounded," he said.

"Obviously an aircraft is a great asset if you can have them up in the air.

"Seconds are paramount, so to have extra funding for that air support and bombers would certainly be a good thing for people around here."

Network outage 'pandemonium'

Hunter-based telecommunications expert Paul Budde said the chaos that occurred when the local mobile phone network went dead during the emergency should trigger change.

In Mr Budde's hometown of Bucketty mobile phone coverage took a hit when phone towers went dead after electricity supplies were cut.

During the fire disaster in the Hunter there were also problems accessing diesel to start back up generators when the power to the towers went down.

Mr Budde said telecommunication towers needed as much protection as possible.

"It was absolute pandemonium, because there doesn't seem to be a plan," he said.

The commission noted that there was no Commonwealth register of assets requiring protection in a fire disaster.

Air quality

Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfire director Owen Price, based at the University of Wollongong, made a submission to the royal commission calling for the creation of a national air quality data centre and said he was pleased it listened.

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"The focus needs to be more on how you have systems of forecasting, which is one of the recommendations, so people understand what's going on and get ready for it," he said.

"What you need is real time data on where the fires are and how intensely they're burning — in other words, how much pollution they're throwing out.

"That proves to be very hard and that gets back to this question of having the data systems in fire agencies to report fire activity in real time.

"[That] would be a huge step forward if that could be done."

Dr Price said the report was a reminder that Australian bushfire researchers needed to redouble their efforts.

"Everyone is very excited with the prospect of getting involved in these sorts of things," he said.

Recommendations 'pragmatic'

The NSW Government said it would work closely with the Federal Government to respond to the recommendations in a way that complements the work already underway following the State's inquiry.

Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud indicated the Federal Government would adopt the recommendations.

"In terms of the Federal recommendations, there is nothing there that the Federal Government is concerned about," he said.

"I think they're very pragmatic recommendations and ones we'll continue to pursue."

Mr Littleproud said the Government was carefully considering the report and would respond quickly.


Video: Inquiry calls for Federal Government emergency declaration powers (ABC NEWS)

UK honors war dead in scaled-back Remembrance Sunday service .
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