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Community, Environment

TALENT ALERT: CYCLONE JASPER – Furious Fires Being Extinguished By Unusually Early Cyclones

CMC 3 mins read

As Cyclone Jasper bears down on Tropical North Queensland, locals prepare to weather this severe storm by preparing their homes as best they can, or packing up their belongings and heading to emergency centres. 

Towns in Far North Queensland (FNQ) have been torched in recent weeks with bushfires tearing through the region, only to be now threatened by an early season cyclone. During an El Niño, we typically don’t have a cyclone make landfall until January.

It’s not just their homes and families at risk, as a region that is heavily dependent on the tourism industry, cyclones can wreak havoc on the entire economy of FNQ. 


Scientists, community leaders and tourism operators are available to comment on the destruction to be unleashed by Cyclone Jasper. *Please note: some of the talent live in the predicted path of the cyclone, so please be mindful when scheduling interviews.



Dr Simon Bradshaw - Research Director, Climate Council

Location – Sydney
Dr Simon Bradshaw is a researcher on climate science and the impacts of a warming climate; his research covers extreme weather, bushfires, cyclones, health, security and other areas of climate science and impacts. He has worked extensively throughout the Pacific, and has in-depth knowledge of how the increasing severity of tropical storm systems impacts on regional communities.


“Everything we see today is happening against the backdrop of a fast warming planet. We know that climate change, driven by the burning of coal, oil and gas, means greater risks from fire, extreme heat, floods, and tropical cyclones, and that Queenslanders are on the front line.


“With a warmer atmosphere and ocean, cyclones can become more intense and destructive. They may intensify more quickly, may retain their strength for longer upon making landfall, and may dump more rain. Combined with rising sea levels, they also cause more damaging storm surges.


“Our thoughts are with everyone in Far North Queensland, who have been whalloped by extreme heat, floods, and now face a nervous time with Cyclone Jasper. We urge everyone to keep up to date with the latest information and warnings, and stay as safe as possible.”



Dr Dean Miller, Director of Great Barrier Reef Legacy and The Forever Reef Project

Location: Port Douglas

Dr Dean Miller co-founded a not-for-profit created to address the urgent need to secure the long-term survival of the Great Barrier Reef. He is the driving force behind the Forever Reef Project, essentially a 'coral ark' that will collect and maintain living samples of all 415 species of coral on the Great Barrier Reef. Dr Miller is currently involved in research projects monitoring reef health and bleaching events, and he has a tour operation based in Port Douglas that takes guests to swim with dwarf minke whales.

"Tropical Cyclones are severe weather events and as such can have devastating impacts to homes, our environment and even lives. For reefs in the pathway it can range from completely smashed apart and stripped bare, to almost no impact at all as each reef is different and it entirely depends on the wind and wave direction and intensity at the time.”


“Here in Port Douglas our community has readied itself for Cyclone Jasper - houses and infrastructure have been packed down, all vessels have been evacuated from the marina and we now wait until Jasper's landfall tomorrow to see what he will bring.”


“As the climate warms, we will see increasingly more frequent and more extreme weather events. Cyclones are just another suite of global warnings on top of mass coral bleachings, intense forest fires, and melting ice caps that clearly demonstrate that climate change is not something of the future but something of right here and now."




Lucy Graham - Director - Cairns and Far North Environment Centre Inc. (CAFNEC)

Location - Cairns

As the director of CAFNEC, Lucy is engaged with community and environment groups throughout FNQ on the front line of climate impacts, calling for change and implementing on ground solutions.


“Climate change predictions have said that the far northern region of Australia will experience increasing severity of fires, floods, cyclones, and heat. Our communities are feeling that now, we just went from huge fires on the Atherton tablelands, to sitting in back to back heat waves, to now as we watch a cyclone loom on the horizon. There is no rest for our community between these climate events, and we know that the summer has only just started. This is the evidence that we need better climate policy and emissions reductions targets that align with 1.5 degrees now, yesterday, 10 years ago.” 


For interviews with climate scientists, tourism operators and community leaders please contact Sean Kennedy, Climate Media Centre, 0447 121 378 

Contact details:

Sean Kennedy, Climate Media Centre

0447 121 378

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