MUNDARING Shire Council has urged the Federal and Western Australian governments to take immediate action on climate change.
The move follows a resolution by Council in December 2019 to declare a Climate Emergency in the Shire of Mundaring to address the serious and worsening risks for the district and the need for urgent action.
Shire President Cr John Daw has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and WA Premier Mark McGowan to urge acknowledgement by both governments that the current, unprecedented challenges posed by bush fires require a national strategy of action.
"Shire of Mundaring is already vulnerable to bush fires and heatwaves and our community is concerned about worsening risks," he said.
"The Council has endorsed the Western Australian Local Government Association's 'Policy Statement on Climate Change', which calls for strong climate change action, leadership and co-ordination at all levels of government.
"A national strategy must address the newly emerging characteristics of bush fires that are defeating our fire and emergency responses. This strategy could enable new forms of support for local adaptation initiatives and proper planning and preparation to mitigate the effects of climate change on biodiversity."
In addition, Mundaring Shire Council urged the Federal and State governments to:
- Take urgent action to guarantee a rapid national reduction in emissions from all sources
- Provide support for the adoption of climate change strategies within the local government sector across the country
- Provide support to ensure all states and territories can enhance the co-ordination of their leadership and strategies for fire fighting across the country
- Acknowledge that the Federal government's 'National Bushfire Mitigation' program will need to be significantly enhanced to provide greater national resources for State and Territory governments
- Recognise that many areas depend on nature-based eco-tourism with the forests and their biodiversity of animals and birds playing a significant part in their local economies. Therefore, any solutions must consider living, surviving and thriving with nature
- Acknowledge that consultation with Aboriginal communities in fire-prone areas and the adoption of traditional cultural burning practices should be considered when planning fire risk mitigation efforts.
Cr Daw said the Shire was already focussed on increasing efforts in bush fire risk mitigation and committed to reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
"Our volunteer bush fire brigades are dedicated, hardworking people who risk their lives to protect our community," Cr Daw added.
"They deserve to be supported with adequately resourced and well-planned fire fighting operations and bush fire risk mitigation programs.
"As indicated recently by the Climate Council, resources for fire fighting may need to be doubled in size from current levels across Australia to meet the challenge of longer and more dangerous bush fire seasons. The need is acute and getting worse in local government communities such as Mundaring that are surrounded by forest."