Bandt raises bushfires climate link again


Bandt raises bushfires climate link again

AAP Steve Lillebuen – November 17, 2013, 1:24 pm

Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt has warned the deadly Black Saturday disaster could be repeated every two years unless the federal government takes global warming seriously.

Mr Bandt was accused of politicising the NSW bushfires tragedy last month when he linked climate change with the crisis.

He again raised the politically charged point on Sunday ahead of a debate on the carbon tax repeal.

He told a climate change rally in Melbourne that the 2009 Victorian fires, which killed 173 people, could happen far more frequently.

“Unless we get global warming under control, the kind of horrific tragedies that we saw during Black Saturday might start happening once every two years here in Victoria,” he told a crowd of thousands.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has described attempts to link bushfires with climate change as “complete hogwash” and a “bizarre” argument, given Australia has always had bushfires.

But Mr Bandt accused the coalition of not taking real action on climate change.

“Yes, (Mr Abbott) is right that we have always been a country prone to bushfires, but I say, why the hell would you wish more of them on us?” he said.

“That is what is in store unless we get global warming under control.”

Labor opposition environment spokesman Mark Butler and Tim Flannery of the Climate Council also addressed the crowd.

No one from the coalition spoke, but organisers said they were invited.

The event was one of hundreds throughout Australia as part of a national day of action.

United Firefighters Union secretary Peter Marshall attended the event.

He said he believed in the link between bushfires and climate change.

“There is no sceptic at the end of a fire hose,” he said.

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