Labor is urging Premier Gladys Berejiklian to release the long awaited report from the NSW Bushfire Inquiry so the Government, the RFS and communities across the state can begin to prepare for the next fire season.
According to the NSW Government’s own website, they ‘commissioned the independent inquiry into the 2019-20 bushfire season to provide input to NSW ahead of the next bushfire season.
However the Premier has failed to release the report even though the 2020/21 bushfire season has already started in Northern NSW, and will begin at the start of September for the rest of the state
Volunteer firefighters, SES personnel and their families are especially interested in the report’s findings regarding compensation arrangements for volunteers who spent months protecting their communities on the firegrounds and had to forgo wages or not operate their businesses.
Today Deputy Premier John Barilaro endorsed Labor’s long standing proposal to support volunteer firefighters. Labor called for compensation for volunteer firefighters throughout the 2019-2020 fire season but it took until late January 2020 for Prime Minister Morrison and Premier Berejiklian to introduce a payment for volunteer firefighters even though many had been fighting fires since September 2019.
Shadow Minister for Bushfire Recovery Yasmin Catley said: “Time and time again John Barilaro complains that the state government isn’t doing enough. Well John, you are the government. You’re the Deputy Premier, so it’s your government that’s not doing enough. Stop talking about it and start doing it.
“John Barilaro has been the Deputy Premier for almost four years. This is his legacy of failure and inaction. Every time he rings up a radio station to complain about his own government is another missed opportunity to actually fix the problems”
Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Trish Doyle said ”The failure of the NSW Government to release the findings from the inquiry into the Black Summer Bushfires, which only further highlights their laissez faire approach to emergency management and preparedness.”
Ms Doyle said: “The 2020/21 bushfire season started two weeks ago for some areas up north, and it’ll start for the rest of the state in another 2 weeks. It’s already too late to prepare for the next bushfire season because it’s already here.”