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  • Australia: Former fire and emergency chiefs push for national bushfire emergency summit

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Australia: Former fire and emergency chiefs push for national bushfire emergency summit

Source(s):  Guardian, the (UK)

By Lisa Cox


It comes after the prime minister, Scott Morrison, rejected calls on Tuesday for additional help for volunteers who have been fighting fires and assisting fire-affected communities in New South Wales and Queensland for weeks.


But two former fire chiefs – Greg Mullins from NSW and Lee Johnson in Queensland – say a national summit is necessary to discuss not only the increasing strain on volunteers battling more extreme and frequent bushfires, but also how Australia deals with fire in a changed climate.


Mullins, who has been volunteering with RFS crews in Taree, said well-structured resource-sharing arrangements between states and other countries were working well. The challenge would come if more major fires took hold in Victoria and South Australia further into summer.


A summit needed to talk about not just resourcing for increasingly challenging fires, but also adaptation measures such as reviewing building codes for houses in fire-prone areas, examining how to make better use of the defence force during bushfires, and other measures such as fuel reduction.


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  • Publication date 10 Dec 2019

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