Senate debates

Thursday, 5 December 2019


New South Wales Bushfires

12:20 pm

Photo of Mehreen FaruqiMehreen Faruqi (NSW, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes with deep concern that:

  (i) over a hundred fires continue to burn across New South Wales,

  (ii) data from the New South Wales Department of Environment shows harmful pollutants in Sydney's air are already over three times worse than at any moment in the past five years during bushfire season,

  (iii) the toxicity of the air in some parts of Sydney is the equivalent of smoking between four and ten cigarettes a day,

  (iv) particle pollution can trigger heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and asthma attacks,

  (v) New South Wales Health has stated that bushfires were to blame for an increase in people presenting to emergency departments with asthma and breathing difficulties, and

  (vi) Mr Greg Mullins, the former chief of NSW Fire and Rescue, has stated that 'climate change has supercharged the bushfire problem' and that 'if anyone tells you this is part of a normal cycle or we've had fires like this before smile politely and walk away, because they don't know what they're talking about'; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to protect the health of the people of New South Wales and declare a climate emergency.

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

The question is that the motion moved by Senator Faruqi be agreed to.