We are already feeling the impacts of global warming. This year, 2016, is set to be the hottest on record, breaking the records set in 2014 and again in 2015. With just 1 degree of warming, we already have mass bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef, and swathes of Tasmania’s ancient wilderness have burned out of control. Global warming is also increasing the likelihood of catastrophic bushfires like the Black Saturday fires in Victoria in 2009 which killed 173 people.
Dangerous global warming driven by pollution from burning fossil fuels represents a direct threat to Australia, already the driest inhabited continent on earth, and one with many millions of people living in coastal cities. We have the tools to fix this crisis and there are immense opportunities in jobs-rich clean energy, but some impacts are already unavoidable. The Greens have a plan to adapt to the impacts which are already “locked in”, including working to double career firefighters by 2030.
Backing our emergency workers - doubling career firefighters by 2030
The Greens support the call from the Climate Council for a doubling of the number of paid firefighters by 2030. As the impacts of global warming intensify, the federal government must increase its contribution.
The Greens would make a federal contribution towards this goal of $120 million over the first four years, ramping up over the next 10 years from an additional $25 million per year in 2016-17 to $200 million per year by 2025-26, with further increases to 2030. In the first year, the Greens’ plan would more than double the current federal contribution to firefighting resources to $43 million per year in total. The federal contribution is just $18 million as of 2014-15.