Fire seasons are extending as a result of climate change - the Tathra and district fire started in autumn, and the Yankees Gap fire near Bega began on the 15th of August last year, in winter. The fire chiefs say regional areas are at particular risk of climate change and want to meet with the Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
More than 20 former fire and emergency chiefs from around the country say they believe it's their duty to warn the public about the dangers they are facing as a result of climate change, and have called on government to drive down emissions.
Spokesman former NSW Fire and Rescue chief Greg Mullins, says regional communities, such as the Far South Coast, are particularly at risk "as the weather gradually worsens". He says the former fire chiefs have issued a joint statement calling on the Prime Minister to meet with the group, commit to a parliamentary inquiry and review current emergency arrangements.
Yesterday the Federal Government approved groundwater management plans that would bring the controversial Adani coal mine a step closer.
Oxfam Australia Climate Change Adviser Dr Simon Bradshaw has called it a reckless and shameful decision made just days before the election is to be called.
“The grossly irresponsible coal mine would be a disaster for vulnerable communities around the world. More coal will drive more people into poverty through the devastating impacts of climate change, as well as the direct impact of coal burning on local communities.
"We are urging Labor to commit to stopping this disaster should it win government.
“Whoever forms the next government, Australia needs to step up to stop climate damage. A commitment to no new coal mines - including stopping Adani - and a rapid transition to renewable energy must be part of any meaningful commitment to tackling climate change.
“It is not too late to stop the Adani project, now more than ever we need to make this the climate election. The cost of digging and burning coal is being measured in more hunger, communities forced from their land and homes, and entrenched poverty.”
The Greens says both the Liberal and Labor parties accept millions of dollars in donations from fossil fuel companies and as such have a vested interest in not banning new coal mines.
Meanwhile Greg Mullins has said, "Regional areas are being hit very hard by climate change, back to back heatwaves, droughts, they're finding it hard to feed their livestock and then they are being hit by fires and massive floods, so cascading events are really affecting people in regional areas and we owe it to them to do something about this.
"What we're after is politicians in Canberra acknowledge finally that climate change is driving extreme weather events but most of all, governments need to do something about driving down our emissions for our children our grandkids and their children."
He said, "all of us are so concerned about the inaction on climate change that we believe its our duty as former public officials to bring to the public's attention the dangers that they face."