Demand increase for emergency services

Demand increase for emergency services

Climate change report warns of increased demand on emergency services in Queensland

Posted on 07.09.2018

An increased risk of fire and flood across the state will put extra demand on emergency services and require a “significant financial commitment”, a new climate change strategy has revealed.

Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford will today release a plan designed to help first responders get ready for future weather extremes.

It warns of the potential for climate change to increase the frequency, intensity, duration and distribution of bushfires, heatwaves and coastal inundation.

“We’ve all got to accept the world is changing. Queensland is changing,” Mr Crawford said.

“There are plenty of people out there who are climate change sceptics… but the consensus is our fire seasons are getting hotter and longer and our flood and cyclone seasons are certainly getting stronger and more frequent.”

Climate Change and Outdoor Recreation

It is not only emergency services that need to prepare for the consequences of climate change – so do all who do outdoor activities. Whether you are a weekend climber, an avid paddler, or simply like to go for a walk in the bush … whether you run a school camp, an activity club or an adventure tourism operation – you will need be aware of and prepare for the negative effects of climate change on what you do and where you do it.

The Emergency Management strategy has been developed in conjunction with the environment department, Griffith University Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, local councils, the Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO and the Queensland Farmers Federation.

Mr Crawford said emergency services had to be prepared for “anything and everything”.

“This is massive state. We’re one of the only states in Australia where we could potentially have wild fires burning in the southern part of the state on the same day as we have a cyclone ravaging the north, so we have to be ready for whatever the future holds for us,” he said.

That could mean extra training and equipment for first responders and rethinking how quickly they could be deployed across larger parts of the state.

“If we’re going to have cyclones happening in parts of Queensland that they don’t normally happen right now it means that we’re going to have to expand all the areas where we have response training, capability and everything like that,” Mr Crawford said.

“That will cause a significant financial cost to us that we’ll have to manage as we go into the future.”

Cairns Regional Council Deputy Mayor and Local Disaster Management Group chair Terry James said local governments needed to prepare for the consequences of climate change.

“We recognise that our coastal communities are facing increased threats from erosion, storm tide flooding and rising sea levels,” Counsellor James said.

“That is why it is so important all levels of government work together to assess risks and identify practical solutions that will help them prepare for the growing threat of climate change.”

Queensland is no stranger to natural disasters and weather extremes.

This year the bushfire season started early, with crews battling more than 1,000 vegetation blazes in August alone.

Cyclone Debbie in 2017 and Cyclone Marcia in 2015 wrought billions of dollars in damage to parts of the central and North Queensland coasts.

Source
ABC News

Share

FacebookTwitter

Have a story to tell or news to share?

Let us know by Submitting a News Story

Discover Queensland

Explore all of Queensland’s adventures.

Start Exploring

What's On

Jun

22

Volunteer with BeachCare – Tugun

Come along and join in on some free community coast care activities with BeachCare and help preserve our coastal environment.
Read more

Jun

24

Swiftwater Rescue Operator Course

Swiftwater Rescue Operator Course - 4 days of specialist training
Read more

Jun

27

2019 Australian Camps Association National Conference

The Conference theme will be ‘Telling Our Story’
Read more

Latest News

Nature 'dose' for health and happiness

Two hours a week in nature is the 'dose' you need to increase health and happiness

Read more
Gutsy Girls Adventure Film Tour

Showcasing and celebrating the female adventurous spirit

Read more
$90m+ for environmental protection

Wildlife and the environment are winners in this year’s State Budget

Read more

Become a member

QORF welcomes applications for new Community and Green Circle Members from organisations and individuals involved in the outdoors

Learn More
Tail Lights by Georgina Pratten