Despite being asked in Senate Question Time today, the federal government has refused to commit to an independent inquiry into the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area fires, refused to allocate further resources to help fight the fires, and refused to indicate whether the Tasmanian government has formally requested assistance.
“It took two weeks for the federal government to activate Emergency Management Australia provisions, and we have still have not found out why,” Greens Senator for Tasmania Nick McKim said.
“Over 18 400 hectares have already been burned inside the World Heritage area, including fragile alpine ecosystems and Gondwanan species which in the whole world only exist in very small parts of Tasmania and are not fire adapted.”
“This is a national crisis and we need more resources thrown into the fray."
"We also need to assess how the fires were handled, how we can better plan for our changing climate which science is telling us will make bushfire conditions worse, and what we can learn to improve our response to wilderness fires in the future.”
“I will move a motion urging the government to hold an independent inquiry into the fires when the Senate resumes on February 22.”