The Emergency Leaders for Climate Action have launched a new Australian Bushfire and Climate Plan

NEW BUSHFIRE ERA: Mayor Carol Sparks after the fire near Wytaliba last November. Picture: Tony Grant
NEW BUSHFIRE ERA: Mayor Carol Sparks after the fire near Wytaliba last November. Picture: Tony Grant

Emergency Leaders for Climate Action recently released a new national plan to help protect Australians from an unprecedented era of climate-fuelled bushfires.

Mayor Carol Sparks was consulted along with more than 150 experts and affected community members at the National Bushfire and Climate Summit 2020 to develop The Australian Bushfire and Climate Plan.

There were 165 recommendations for more effective bushfire readiness, response, and recovery developed for the plan.

"Climate change has pushed Australia into a new bushfire era where we must fundamentally rethink how we prepare for and manage this growing threat," said Climate Councillor and former Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins.

The plan outlines practical steps that varying levels of government can take now to protect their communities.

"It's important that the Federal Government takes these recommendations seriously and acts on them urgently. First and foremost, the Federal Government must tackle the root cause of climate change by urgently phasing out fossil fuels to reach net zero emissions. We also hope they will be included in the Royal Commission's final report," said Mr Mullins.

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Key recommendations include; Better resource fire and land management agencies to manage fuels, and rapidly detect and attack new outbreaks. Add self-sufficient medium and large aerial firefighting capability to Australian fire services. Create an Indigenous-led National Cultural Fire Strategy to complement and inform fuel management by agencies.

"I think that the recommendations are good, hopefully some of the recommendations will be adopted, particularly the pre-season fire protection, " Cr Sparks said.

Climate Councillor and public health physician Dr Kate Charlesworth said: "Australia's summer of fires saw more than 400 deaths and more than 4,000 hospitalisations from bushfire smoke.

"The climate-health crisis is affecting Australians now, and is the number one threat to people's health in the long-term. We urgently need a national climate and health strategy to protect Australians," said Dr Charlesworth.

I'm glad to have the opportunity to be a voice for the community.

Cr Carol Sparks

'Lots of people who were impacted by the bushfires were consulted on the important issue of bushfire readiness, response, and recovery," Cr Sparks said