The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements makes clear Australians have been let down by political inaction in preparing the country for the realities of a harsher climate.
The Public Service Association demands government immediately act to properly resource all bushfire and other emergency response agencies to a mandated, minimum standard.
“Today Australians found out that when it comes to accountability for keeping them safe from bushfires, no one holds the hose,” said Troy Wright, assistant secretary of the PSA.
“The Royal Commission recommends that there be accountability at a federal, state and territory level – because right now, there isn’t.
“That is why NSW could go into a catastrophic bushfire season with the Rural Fire Service missing 20% of its workforce and the National Parks and Wildlife Service missing more than a third of its most experienced fire management staff.
“NSW went into the Black Summer with a 1000 less bushfire fighting skilled staff than it had a decade ago. We cannot let that happen again – the government needs to be accountable for keeping us safe.
“The Commission heard our calls for a central coordinating agency and recommends an independent accountability mechanism. This needs to be established today.”