Twelve Mayors of fire stricken areas, including Byron Shire’s Mayor Simon Richardson and Tweed Mayor Katie Milne, have signed a statement today ‘calling on the Australian government to acknowledge the link between climate change and the catastrophic fire conditions facing New South Wales and Queensland this week’.
They are two of 71 councils across the country which have declared a Climate Emergency.
‘If the Government doesn’t start treating this as a climate emergency, it is hard to feel confident that they will do what is necessary to address it,’ Councillor Milne said.
‘People are starting to get really frustrated and angry about this with more and more protests.
‘The government needs to act, not just lock up these people who are parents and grandparents desperately worried about the future and their children,’ she said.
Byron Shire Mayor points out that there is clear evidence for climate change and its impacts in the raging bushfires.
‘Everybody who’s involved with the bushfires are talking about climate change, the only people who aren’t talking about it are the politicians and their media supporters,’ said Mayor Richardson.
The statement has also been signed by other fire impacted councils including Bellingen, MidCoast and Noosa, as well as areas on extreme fire alert such as the Blue Mountains, Ryde, and Hawkesbury.
’It’s quite obvious that this is very different from something that we would expect on the Mid North Coast. This is a wet area that has lots of rainforest and we’re seeing them dry out and burn. It’s also quite obvious to anyone who’s been watching the discussion around climate change that this is exactly what the scientists were talking about,’ said Mayor of Bellingen, Dominic King.
All the Mayors are are calling on the government to ‘recognise the spiralling costs to the community from catastrophic fires, and provide more funding and resources for frontline services’.