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Bushfire survivors call out Peter Dutton’s abandonment of communities on the frontline of climate change

Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action 2 mins read

June 8, 2024

BUSHFIRE SURVIVORS FOR CLIMATE ACTION (BSCA) has spoken out in response to Opposition Leader Peter Dutton’s statements in The Australian today that the Federal Liberal Party would dump Australia’s interim emissions reduction targets. The organisation, founded and led by bushfire survivors, has labelled the move reckless and devastating.

“Here we are watching communities face climate-fueled disasters roll around again and again, with insurance costs rising and homes in some regions becoming uninsurable, yet the Opposition Leader is prepared to delay climate action until the 2040s. To say our members are distraught is an understatement,” said Serena Joyner, Chief Executive Officer of Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action.

“What’s particularly hard to understand is how the Coalition can justify the ever growing expense of worsening climate disasters. The bushfires of 2019-2020 and the 2022 Northern Rivers floods each cost insurers more than $4 billion, and the cost to farmers of the Black Summer fires was $5 billion. Nearly 60% of all local government areas were disaster-declared in 2022 and councils everywhere have been unable to keep up with repairs to local infrastructure.

“And insurance costs are just beginning when accounting for the personal financial and emotional costs to people and communities across the country from more frequent and destructive fires and floods. There’s only so much we can take. Does Peter Dutton expect our regions to just give up and move to the city?

“Scientists tell us if we delay urgent climate action we guarantee that global temperatures will keep rising. That would condemn Australia to face summers like Black Summer on a regular basis, if not worse. It is beyond belief that the Opposition Leader thinks that is an acceptable future for this country.”

Media enquiries: Serena Joyner, 0417 211 203 or

About Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action:

Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action (BSCA) is a non-partisan, community organisation made up of bushfire survivors, firefighters and their families working together to call on our leaders to take action on climate change. BSCA formed shortly after the Tathra and District fire in March 2018, and its founding members were all impacted by bushfires, including the Black Summer bushfires in 2019-20, Blue Mountains in 2013, Black Saturday in 2009 and Canberra in 2003. 

BSCA has been at the cutting edge of legal reform to reduce climate emissions and hold governments, agencies and companies to account. In 2023 the NSW Environment Protection Agency was the first such agency in the country to introduce a climate policy, which it was required to do as a result of landmark court action taken by BSCA.

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