Tip News

April 10, 2020

Australia launches national inquiry into bushfires - Tip News

Australia launches national inquiry into bushfires

Australia launches national inquiry into bushfires
'Australia has seen dozens of inquests into the causes of bushfires and steps that could be taken to mitigate them, with mixed results' - By: AFP/File PETER PARKS

Australia set up a national inquiry Thursday into its month-long bushfire crisis that affected three in four Australians and prompted widespread criticism of the government for its sluggish response to the blazes.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the vast scale of the fires -- which killed more than 30 people and destroyed thousands of homes -- required a new response from the bushfire-prone nation.

The Royal Commission inquiry will be tasked with finding ways to improve Australia's preparedness, resilience and response to natural disasters, but has been criticised as an effort to put off tackling the problem.

Australia has seen dozens of inquests into the causes of bushfires and steps that could be taken to mitigate them, with mixed results.

Many measures from the dozens of inquests going back to the 1930s have still not been implemented.

The opposition Labor party accused Morrison of trying to "shift attention to the things that he thinks are politically convenient to talk about" rather than "actually fixing climate change and getting emissions under control."

Morrison said panel would be asked to consider establishing new powers for the federal government to declare a national state of emergency, which he argued would allow a faster response to fires.

The conservative leader, who was criticised for his sluggish reaction to the months-long crisis, has defended his actions by pointing to regulations requiring states to formally request federal assistance.

He claimed to have operated in a "constitutional grey zone" by deploying thousands of troops and reservists to assist in the bushfire recovery.

"We did that without clear rules," Morrison said.

The most recent crisis has sparked calls for Australia's conservative government to take immediate action on climate change, with street protests urging Morrison to reduce the country's reliance on coal.

The prime minister belatedly acknowledged the link between the bushfire disaster and a warming planet, but also made clear his government plans to focus on climate adaption and building resilience ahead of measures to cut emissions.

The inquiry will be led by former Air Force chief Mark Binskin, along with retired Federal Court judge Annabelle Bennett and environmental lawyer professor Andrew Macintosh.

Morrison said they would be required to report their findings by August 31, "so recommendations can be acted upon before our next bushfire season".

The most recent bushfire season began in early September, with the first deaths recorded a month later.

Short link: https://tipnews.com/u/MTIzNjAw

See also:

Related articles

Global virus death toll passes 94,000, but some signs of hope

Global virus death toll passes 94,000, but some signs of hope

Another horror day of the coronavirus pandemic saw the global death toll pass 94,000, although there were tentative signs of hope that the crisis was peaking in the United States and Europe.The picture of the unfolding economic catastrophe also became clearer

Virus mars Easter holidays as death toll nears 100,000

Virus mars Easter holidays as death toll nears 100,000

Hundreds of millions of people around the world will spend the Easter holiday at home as lockdown measures intensify to combat the coronavirus, a pandemic with a global death toll rapidly approaching 100,000.Governments have forced businesses to close and limi

South Pacific disease threat follows destructive cyclone

South Pacific disease threat follows destructive cyclone

Tropical Cyclone Harold's trail of destruction through four Pacific nations could threaten a rise in disease, authorities warned Friday, as stretched health services struggled under the added burden of the coronavirus.Speedy repairs and recovery were needed t

Ecuador bishop blesses virus-stricken city from helicopter

Ecuador bishop blesses virus-stricken city from helicopter

Bishop Giovanni Battista took to the skies in a helicopter on Thursday to bless Guayaquil, the city in Ecuador worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic.Wearing a face mask and gloves and accompanied by a priest, Battista crossed himself with a monstrance and



HELLO, PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO RATE THIS POST Australia launches national inquiry into bushfires

Sending comment Close