Monday February 9, 2009 7:30am WST
For Immediate Release
"Project SafeCom today shares the deep grief and intense distress increasingly felt around the nation over the devastating Victorian fires," spokesman Jack H Smit said this morning.
"While there is deep and mounting grief around Australia over the lives lost in the Victorian fires, and while levels of distress are also mounting over lost properties, stock, loved pets and material possessions, a grief and distress shared by us all, a new resolve ought to grow from this grief, not just about the traditional relevance of "stay and defend" strategies of properties, now that we can see the overpowering might of nature when it moves as it wants to with out-of-control fires, but also about climate change related factors that have led to the fires."
"The period leading up to the fires contained several "worst ever" factors which have already been identified and acknowledged by fire and rescue chiefs as well as weather experts, who have already mentioned the duration of the hot spells and the intensity of forest droughts. These factors indicate more than ordinary climate variations, and already the notion of climate change as a definite factor contributing to the fires have been pointed at in the media by those chiefs."
"Australia and its leaders, including the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and climate change Minister Penny Wong, now need to be prepared to face the possibility that these fires may well mark the year 2009 as the start of a period where climate change disasters of this magnitude will be with us, time and again."
"This may not just be true for the fires, but also for the Queensland floods, where similar "longer than ever" remarks about the rainfall period have now been mentioned."
"These deliberations can no longer be dismissed as a emotional and negative doomsday-sayer's hyperbole, but they need to be encountered with care, resolve and determination, leading to new strategies, plans and national assistance programs."
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]