Skip to content
Environment

NEW POLLING: VICTORIANS HIT BY FIRE AND FLOODS FEAR THEY MAY BE FORCED TO LEAVE

Climate Council 4 mins read

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

NEW POLLING REVEALS Australians are worried that worsening extreme weather events will force them to relocate away from their homes and communities. 

 

Victorians experienced wild swings between weather extremes this summer, with dangerous downpours putting homes and towns under threat. In East Gippsland, communities experienced both fire and flood warnings on the same day. One in three Victorians worry that worsening extreme weather events may mean they have to permanently leave the people and places they care about to stay safe.

 

At a national level, polling by the Climate Council identified:

  • 1 in 3 Australians report being worried that they may have to permanently relocate because of extreme weather. 
  • 4 in 5 Australians (79%) say they are worried about the impact of extreme weather events on children and young people. 
  • 1 in 10 Australians have already faced the grim reality of being forced to move temporarily or permanently from their homes due to an extreme weather event. 
  • 1 in 3 Australians know someone who has been forced to relocate from their homes due to an extreme weather event. 
  • Almost 85% of Australians are worried about the prospect of their insurance becoming unaffordable due to worsening extreme weather events. 

 

Tom Crook, Mayor of East Gippsland said: 

"We're no strangers to extreme weather in East Gippsland. The community has banded together during tough moments such as the Black Summer bushfires and more recently during floods where sadly people lost their lives. Communities were still implementing bushfire recovery projects when the floods hit and now have the compounding economic and social impacts to contend with.

 

"It's sad to learn how many people are worried they will have to relocate because of worsening extreme weather. But there's much more we can do to make sure all levels of government work better to improve our response to fire and floods, and keep our communities safe and together.

 

“An important first step is a national approach to providing communities with information on the climate risks they face - whether flood risks or coastal inundation. It would go a long way to improve our planning and response to protect communities from future events.

 

“Councils, as the level of government closest to the community, are working hard to keep people safe as we live the reality of a changing climate. We stand ready to work with all levels of government to design and implement planning decision support tools to help us make evidence based decisions on the increasing levels of risk associated with these climate driven extreme weather events.”

 

Dr Grant Blashki, practising General Practitioner and Climate Council Fellow said: 

“This summer, communities across the country were hurtled between dangerous downpours and record-breaking temperatures. It’s understandable that Australians are anxious about what lies ahead for their homes and their families.

 

“The fear people have of being forced to relocate is not unfounded. This polling tells us that one in ten of us have already uprooted our lives due to extreme weather. This experience goes beyond moving house, it means losing the wonderful support and connections that communities provide.

 

“Climate-fuelled fires and floods present an almost impossible choice for families who are already under severe mental stress after experiencing an extreme weather event: Do they stay in a home with ongoing risks of another fire or flood, or do they relocate? 

 

“Relocating is an extremely difficult call for families to make, and one that reverberates throughout entire communities.”

 

Major General Peter Dunn, member of Emergency Leaders for Climate Action and former Commissioner for the ACT’s Emergency Services Authority said: 

 

“Communities in Australia are grappling with a ceaseless onslaught of extreme weather events, fuelled by climate pollution. Many have lost their homes, some have even lost loved ones, and their frustration at the lack of resources to prepare and recover from these disasters is palpable. 

 

“For too long, our leaders have given too much attention to the ambulance at the bottom of the climate change-created cliff. By providing the resources people need to prepare for extreme weather, we can reduce the risks that communities face and save lives and homes that would otherwise be lost. 

 

“After a summer of climate whiplash, now is the time to enlist communities and give them what they need: information about the risks they face, places to gather and make plans for when disasters strike, and resources and education on how to keep one another safe. Now is the time to make decisive moves towards leaving fossil fuels behind, to protect our kids and grandkids from living through even worse fires and floods.” 

 

Polling was conducted by YouGov with a representative national sample of 1,568 Australians. The polling questions were designed to understand the impact of climate change and extreme weather events on the wellbeing of Australians. A summary of the polling is attached, and a spreadsheet of the polling results in full is available on request. 

 

For interviews please contact Climate Council media team on media@climatecouncil.org.au / 0485 863 063 or Lydia Hollister-Jones on 0448 043 015 / lydia.hollister-jones@climatecouncil.org.au.

 

The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community.

 

For further information, go to: climatecouncil.org.au

Or follow us on social media: facebook.com/climatecouncil and twitter.com/climatecouncil

Media

More from this category

  • Environment, Medical Health Aged Care
  • 12/04/2024
  • 14:56
Climate Media Centre

Government heat map ‘wake up call’ to stop burning fossil fuels

Friday 12 April 2024 Advocacy groups have welcomed the release of the Federal Government’s announcement of a heat mapping tool to assist affected communities deal with the worst of extreme heat, but have called on government to do more to address the root cause, climate change caused by the continued use of fossil fuels. Emma Bacon, Executive Director of Sweltering Cities “Heatwaves are Australia’s deadliest environmental disaster, so we welcome the Government’s acknowledgement of the severe impacts being felt by communities across the country. Clearly, some of the communities most impacted in areas like Western Sydney are facing climate, health,…

  • Environment, General News
  • 12/04/2024
  • 12:55
Australian National Maritime Museum

Inaugural Ocean Youth Summit inspires next generation of ocean conservationists

The Australian National Maritime Museum is proud to have hosted OceanEarth Foundation’s inaugural Ocean Youth Summit, bringing together hundreds of young Australians unite to learn, connect, and be inspired to champion the cause of ocean conservation. Over two jam-packed days (April 11-12), the Museum has seen over 400 young people aged 12-24 engage in discussions, interactive activities, and networking opportunities focussing on empowering and amplifying the voices of youth advocates. Ms Daryl Karp AM, Director and CEO of the Museum, said ‘It is wonderful to see so many young passionate young people coming together and sharing their ideas. As the…

  • Contains:
  • Education Training, Environment
  • 12/04/2024
  • 10:54
National Tertiary Education Union

Charles Darwin University must stop attacks on academic freedom

The National Tertiary Education Union has urged Charles Darwin University’s vice-chancellor to drop his attack on academic freedom. Scott Bowman has asked a Senate inquiry into the controversial proposed development of the Middle Arm precinct on Darwin harbour not to publish two submissions from CDU academics. The academics were responding to an official CDU submission supporting the project made without consulting staff or students. In a letter published by the inquiry, Professor Bowman asked the committee not to publish a joint submission by two academics and to redact parts of a second submission by a professor of nursing and outgoing…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.