25 May 2020 - Australia faces exceptional fire season that questions its environmental laws
Fire season extends by almost four months in parts of Australia
Peter Hannam, Laura Chung and Mike Foley (The Sydney Morning Herald, 25/05/2020)
The fire season in parts of eastern Australia has lengthened by almost four months since the 1950s, with climate change a prominent driver in the trend, the Bureau of Meteorology says.
Karl Braganza, head of the bureau's climate monitoring, told the first day of public hearings for the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements on Monday that the South Coast of NSW and eastern Victoria now see fire weather arriving three months earlier, occurring towards the end of winter rather than the end of spring.
Celeste Barber: court rules $51m bushfire appeal money can be spent only on NSW Rural Fire Service
(The Guardian, 25/05/2020)
Millions of dollars raised by the comedian Celeste Barber for bushfire relief cannot be given to charities other than the New South Wales Rural Fire Service or to other states, the NSW supreme court has ruled.
The comedian raised $51.3m in January, nominating the RFS and Brigades Donation Fund trust as the recipient.
But the deed governing the trust permits the money to be spent only on equipment, training and administrative costs.
Ex-fire chiefs want climate change action
Megan Neil (The Canberra Times, 24/05/2020)
Australia faces a "nightmare scenario" of escalating and catastrophic natural disasters without urgent action on climate change, the bushfires royal commission has been told.
A group of 33 former fire and emergency services chiefs wants the royal commission to record as fact that climate change was the main driver of the extreme weather conditions behind Australia's unprecedented bushfire season.
Call for overhaul of 'failing' enviro laws
Dominica Sanda (The Australian, 25/05/2020)
Australian Nobel laureate Peter Doherty is among more than 180 health professionals warning the nation is potentially at risk of being exposed to more pandemics and the impacts of climate change without an overhaul of the nation's environmental laws.
Doctors for the Environment Australia and the Climate and Health Alliance have sent an open letter to federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley as she undertakes a once-in-a-decade review of environmental protection laws.