On the National Memorial Day for fire and emergency services, Prime Minister Scott Morrison read aloud, from Parliament House, the names of 14 responders who lost their lives to bushfire last summer. Following the Prime Minister’s press conference, member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain and Labor leader Anthony Albanese joined Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action on the Parliament House lawns, where the group called for stronger action on climate change – from all political parties.
Bushfire survivor Jan Harris lost her house to the Tathra/Reedy Swamp bushfire in March 2018.
The fire destroyed 65 homes, 35 caravans and cabins and displaced 700 residents and visitors.
Ms Harris said she wanted the government to stand with bushfire-affected communities, to acknowledge their loss and to present a clear agenda for climate change.
Ms Harris said it “would have been nice” for the government to have released the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements final report to the public today.
“We want to know what the government’s response is,” Ms Harris said.
“The Royal Commissions interim report mentioned climate change, but it’s disappointing they haven’t tabled the final report yet.”
Mr Albanese said he expected the Government to release the report after question time tomorrow.
“But we will hold them to account,” he said.
Ms McBain said there were already “many recommendations” for bushfire recovery that “haven’t been taken up”.
“From I’ve come from over the last year, I’ve been the mayor of the Bega Valley for four years,” she said.
“We’ve had three catastrophic bushfires.
“I think we’re all asking for action. We’re asking for action on mitigation because we know there is funding that haven’t been spent yet.
“We’re asking for action to make sure there are land managers.
“We’re asking for action on climate change
“We’re asking for action to make sure our communities don’t have to go through the same situations year-on, year-out.”