Fusion Party Australia is appalled by the insufficient federal government response to the severe weather and flooding across South East Queensland and northern New South Wales. Fusion senate candidates in both states are calling for declaration of a climate emergency all at levels of government, as part of a strategic mobilisation of resources to protect Australians.
On 25 February the flooding claimed its first life and hundreds of residents began considering evacuation. Federal ministers Peter Dutton and Luke Howarth were silent until they launched an online fundraiser days later, rather than seeking to immediately release federal funds.
"The increasing death toll is a growing tragedy, along with the thousands of people who have lost their homes or businesses."
- Brandon Selic, Fusion Party Senate candidate for Queensland
Federal assistance of up to $1,000 per person was finally unlocked on 1 March, but there is no sign of a systematic response to the current floods. There is also no confirmed spending from the federal government's $4.8 billion Emergency Relief Fund.
Mr Selic continued:
"We are also worried for large numbers of North Queenslanders who have given up disaster insurance due to increased premiums. These people will not be able to rebuild without government support. This is going to be the reality for more Australians as extreme weather events become more common."
"Fusion candidates are committed to climate emergency action at all levels of government, backed up by funding for research, adaptation and mitigation. All of this is needed to cope with the increased risk of natural disasters due to the climate emergency."
The delayed deployment of the Defence forces last week echoes the underprepared government response during the 2019–2020 bushfires. The current response came too slow for thousands of northern NSW residents trapped by the floods.
Action to prepare for future disasters is only becoming more urgent as the risk of extreme weather increases.
Andrea Leong, Fusion Party senate candidate for NSW, took aim at government framing of the floods as unpredictable:
"NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet described this catastrophe as a 'one-in-one-thousand-year' event. This is dangerously misleading in this era of climate breakdown.
"The risk of extreme events, both fire and flooding, is increasing. A target of net zero emissions by 2050 is negligent when global warming is already harming Australians.
"We must do everything in our power to stop and reverse this trajectory. What are we waiting for?"
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