We know that climate change is already impacting on Australia’s high country through longer and more intense fire seasons and increasingly erratic winter snow.
What is perhaps less obvious is the fact that emergency services are not adequately resourced to defend the mountains from worsening bushfire seasons.
This has been highlighted in the case of recent fires in Tasmania, where – even with interstate and international support – emergency services were not able to control fires in Tasmania’s world heritage areas over the summer of 2018/19. This had previously been the case in Tasmania in 2016, when precious areas of fire sensitive vegetation were destroyed. Additionally fires in the Victorian high country burnt some areas for the third time in 10 years, with the possibility of significant long term ecological impacts.
Now 23 of Australia’s most senior former emergency service bosses have come together in an unprecedented show of unity, calling on the Prime Minister to ‘get on with the job’ of reducing greenhouse gasses.
They also highlight the fact that Australia currently lacks the resources we need to fight wild fire effectively.