InDaily InDaily

Support independent Journalism Donate Subscribe
Support independent journalism


Burnoffs more important than cutting emissions: Morrison


Prime Minister Scott Morrison has argued hazard reduction burns could be more important than cutting carbon emissions in Australia’s future fight against bushfires.

Print article

Faced with the prospect of hotter and drier fire seasons as a result of climate change, Morrison believes the focus should be on minimising fuel loads.

“Hazard reduction is as important as emissions reduction,” the prime minister told Sky News on Tuesday.

“Many would argue even more so, because it has a direct practical impact on the safety of a person going into a bushfire season.”

The boss of the NSW Rural Fire Service has previously said hazard reduction is important but not a panacea for bushfire risk and has “very little effect at all” on the spread of fire in severe or extreme weather.

Morrison said the government was considering a way to name and shame states which don’t complete required hazard reduction burns.

He flagged new national standards for meeting hazard reduction targets, along with a review of land-clearing laws, native vegetation rules and allowing grazing in national parks.

“We report all the time on what our emissions reductions are, but across the country there is not a national system of reporting to track how hazard reduction is progressing,” he said.

“There’s been plenty of chat around emissions reduction and that’s fine, hazard reduction though is the thing that is going to take a more practical effect on how safe people are in future fire seasons.”

Australians now have until March 31 to make a submission to a parliamentary probe looking into the intensity and frequency of bushfires.

The inquiry was launched in December and is delving into issues including vegetation and land management laws.

Morrison also wants those issues to form part of a proposed royal commission into the extended fire season, in which almost 30 people have died and thousands of homes destroyed.

He wants the inquiry to run for no more than six months so its recommendations are handed down before the next fire season.

While a royal commission would also look at when the federal government could step in with the defence force during natural disasters, the prime minister praised state efforts.

State laws around land-clearing, native vegetation and grazing in national parks would also form part of the review.

The prime minister is preparing a cabinet submission for a royal commission into the bushfire season considering emissions reduction, adaptation and resilience measures.

The states would have to agree to the inquiry.


Want to comment?

Send us an email, making it clear which story you’re commenting on and including your full name (required for publication) and phone number (only for verification purposes). Please put “Reader views” in the subject.

We’ll publish the best comments in a regular “Reader Views” post. Your comments can be brief, or we can accept up to 350 words, or thereabouts.

InDaily has changed the way we receive comments. Go here for an explanation.

Make a comment View comment guidelines

Local News Matters

Media diversity is under threat in Australia – nowhere more so than in South Australia. The state needs more than one voice to guide it forward and you can help with a donation of any size to InDaily. Your contribution goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts. Please click below to help InDaily continue to uncover the facts.

Donate today
Powered by PressPatron

More News stories

Loading next article