The Morrison Government was reportedly warned about the flood catastrophe in parts of New South Wales and Queensland late last year but chose to do fuck all about it. All of a sudden Prime Minister Scott Morrison‘s no photos rule when he went to visit flood victims in Lismore makes sense.
Former ACT Emergency Services Authority commissioner and ELCA Major General Peter Dunn is a member of The Emergency Leaders for Climate Action. It’s a group comprised of 37 ex-fire and emergency service workers in Australia.
He said in a statement on Monday via the ABC that the group briefed Scott Morrison late last year on the high risk of floods. It also warned the government about the horrific bushfires in 2020. But the Morrison government ignored both warnings.
“It ignored the warnings yet again,” he said.
“Its own agency, Emergency Management Australia, was briefing states and territories and charities in October and November that we could face flooding catastrophes, and the maps showed the very areas that were impacted.
“The biggest failing is they’re doing nothing about what’s driving these unprecedented disasters, and that’s climate change.”
Scott Morrison confirmed on Monday that he had received advice from the Bureau of Meteorology and emergency services experts last year. He said what he was briefed at the time did not suggest that the country would experience the horrific “one-in-a-500-year flood” that has impacted Lismore and Mullumbimby.
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But the former commissioner of Fire and Rescue New South Wales and ELCA member Greg Mullins said the government had repeatedly “fail[ed] to listen to expert advice”.
Mullumbimby resident Jacqui Lewis told PEDESTRIAN.TV that homes were destroyed, phone lines were down and there was little to no drinking water available. Residents told Vice Australia that evacuation centres were like prison.
But despite those horrific conditions the government didn’t deploy the army or emergency services for at least a week after the town was hit. The cleanup and rescue efforts were left to volunteers in the community.
Melbourne’s Sikh Volunteers drove 34 hours to help feed flood-affected victims in Lismore. Not the state or federal government.
Experts from ELCA said that the worsening disasters were a direct result of climate change. They called on the federal government to change their emissions target from 75 percent by 2030 to a net-zero by 2040 “at the latest”.
“There are 80 recommendations of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements gathering dust. The government has failed to implement them,” Mullins said.
“After every disaster, the federal government initiates an inquiry but fails to implement the recommendations,” Dunn added.
“It’s clear the lessons of Black Summer have not been learned.”