BULLETIN

Bulletin No:          275                     Volume:  20                   Tuesday 9 December 2014

To ALL UFU MEMBERS

MELBOURNE’S RURAL-URBAN FRINGE AMONGST THE MOST VULNERABLE IN THE WORLD

TO THE BUSHFIRE HAZARD

New Climate Council Report

calls for more firefighters

“Melbourne’s rural-urban fringe is among the most vulnerable in the world to the bushfire hazard” according to a new Climate Council report released today.

The Climate Council “Be Prepared: Climate Change and the Victorian Bushfire Threat”  reconfirms what firefighters already knew – that as a result of climate change Victoria is facing longer fire seasons with more frequent and hotter fire danger days.

The UFU welcomes the Andrews Labor Government commitment to 450 additional career firefighters in the context of the new climate change report that confirms that Victoria is in dire need of more firefighters.

Victoria is not as prepared as it could be for the onslaught of the effects of longer fire seasons and increasing fire danger days with the Napthine Government’s failure to introduce the 342 additional CFA career firefighters promised in 2010.

The 2014-2015 Victorian Bushfire season was recently upgraded from “above normal” to a “major” fire season and Victorians are at a greater risk than ever.

The “Be Prepared” report predicts an increasing risk and severity of bushfires in Victoria and key findings include:

  • Climate change is increasing the risk of bushfires in Victoria and lengthening the fire season
  • Victoria is the state most affected by bushfires and is on the frontline of increasing bushfire risk
  • The Victorian community must prepare for increasing number of extreme fire danger days.
  • It is estimated that the number of career firefighters in Victoria will approximately need to double by 2030 to meet the challenges of extreme weather events including bushfires and population growth.
  • Recent severe fires in Victoria such as the 2009 Black Saturday fires were influenced by record, hot, dry conditions
  • In Victoria the economic costs of bushfires, including loss of life, livelihoods, property damage and emergency services responses is very high
  • It is predicted that the total economic costs of bushfires in Victoria in 2014 will be more than $172 million.
  • It is projected that the economic costs of bushfires will double by 2050.

The full “Be Prepared” report was launched this morning in Melbourne with Climate Councillors and UFU Secretary Peter Marshall fronting a media conference.

Members are encouraged to read the report and participate in the public debate about the need for increased preparedness for bushfires and extreme weather events.  

The full report can be read via http://bit.ly/1zeMA53  

Strength in Unity

READ OUT AT MUSTER AND PIN ON NOTICE BOARD

Authorised by Peter Marshall, Branch Secretary