SCIENTISTS have warned us for decades of the consequences if we do not curb greenhouse gas emissions, yet the NSW Government is doing worse than nothing, it is sending us backwards on climate action and making it easier to pollute.
They are trying to pass a Bill that would stop planning approval agencies and courts considering the full climate change impacts of new coal mines and gas fields.
While the State burned, the Government moved its climate heating Bill one step closer to becoming law. Around the same time Premier Gladys Berijiklian was visiting those affected by the fires while ignoring their demands for action on climate change.
Meanwhile Deputy Premier John Barilaro blamed the severity of the fires on a failure by National Parks staff to do hazard reduction burns. This is gross hypocrisy, as the Coalition Government has reduced the number of rangers and field staff, who perform hazard reduction burns.
Their numbers have been cut by a third since the Coalition came to power in 2011. Severe cuts to staffing levels, saw the department's 289 rangers, including 28 senior rangers, trimmed to 193.
There has been $121 million in cuts and under spends at the Office of Environment and Heritage. The Premier and the Treasurer have cut the National Parks budget , and senior specialist staff have had to be sacked. There simply aren't enough field staff to get the job done.
With the prospects of dry and extreme conditions continuing into future years the State Government needs to make provisions for increased resources to all those agencies that are responsible for firefighting.