The Federal Minister for Natural Disasters and Emergency Management David Littleproud has defended Australia’s climate change policies amid criticism and ongoing bush fires across the country.
David Littleproud told SBS Hindi the Australian people had supported government’s climate policies in the 2019 election, so they will not change amid or after the present bush fire crisis.
“We took a policy quite clearly to the people of Australia. They supported it. We made an international commitment to reduce our emissions. We are the only, one of the very few nations I should say that meet and beat our Koyoto targets. And what we said is we got a trunk track record, and we will do the same again with Paris.”
“But, we need to rest of the world to come with as well. We have got a mutual obligation. We are a global community, and we have to act as a global community, so we need every nation to put the hand up and do the heavy lifting with us. We are 1.3 per cent of the emissions. We are not going to run away from that. We are going to say we have got some heavy lifting to do and we will do it.”
Defending the government's bush fire management, Littleproud said the operational management of firefighting falls to the states, and the federal government has supported the states in every possible way.
“Every state has done an exceptional job of being able to fight these fires. Where the federal government comes in, we support them, when they ask, from the defence force. And now, since the start of the fire season September, I have approved nearly 50 tasking requests of the Australian defence force,” said Littleproud.
Listen to the full interview, here:
There have been 24 deaths so far this bush fire season and more than 1,600 homes have been lost, with almost six million hectares burnt.
Mr Littleproud says the only way these fires of such a big size will be able to put out is from considerable rainfall.
“So, obviously until we get that rain, we ask people to be vigilant. They need to have a fire plan in place and act on it. And, if someone from the emergency management asks them to do something, they should do it.
“The catastrophic conditions that have been in place, when they get to that level, there is nothing humanly possible to be done to be able to stop them. It really about containment and that is what our fire professionals have done so well. They have been able to contain it.”