Emergency Management Vic's climate impacts program underscores need to restore state climate act

Emergency Management Victoria, the body responsible for our state's emergency management system, has launched a new program to help Victoria prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said climate change presents a challenge to the sector in Victoria.

"As the emergency management sector, we must acknowledge and prepare for the impact of climate change, on all aspects of emergency preparedness, response and recovery," said Commissioner Lapsley. 

"Responding to the impacts of climate change, and helping communities be better prepared for the risks and affects, is at the heart of our shared responsibility and is essential to building resilience." 

Friends of the Earth welcome Emergency Management Victoria's initiative and say the program underscores the need for the state parliament to quickly restore the Climate Change Act which was gutted by the Baillieu government in 2011.

"We're in dangerous territory when it comes to climate change," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's climate change spokesperson. 

"Victorians have been left stranded with an impotent climate change policy since 2011 when the Baillieu government gutted the Climate Change Act," said Ewbank.

"Resolute action to tackle climate change and protect Victorian communities is needed now more than ever."

Efforts to restore the Victorian Climate Change Act 2010 are now underway, with the Andrews government seeking to implement the recommendations of an independent review of the legislation. 

The Matthew Guy opposition voted against restoring the Climate Change Act in the final parliamentary sitting week of 2016. An upper house vote is expected early in 2017.

Friends of the Earth -- the organisation that coordinated successful community campaigns for a permanent ban on unconventional gas and a Victorian Renewable Energy Target -- are calling on upper house MPs to show political leadership by supporting the Climate Change Act

"Preventing climate change impacts from getting worse is something all political parties can support. Failure to restore the state climate legislation will leave communities exposed to increased drought, heatwaves, and bushfire risk," said Leigh Ewbank.

"Upper House MPs have an opportunity to show leadership on climate change by supporting the strengthened climate legislation."

The group says the state opposition can redeem itself on the issue by allowing the Climate Change Act to pass the legislative council. 

"Opposition leader Matthew Guy failed his first test of leadership by voting against steps to restore the climate change act," said Leigh Ewbank. 

"Leader of the opposition in the upper house, Mary Wooldridge, can redeem the Coalition by allowing the climate change legislation to pass the upper house."

"The community would welcome Liberal and National party support for restoring the climate change act."

Friends of the Earth are closely monitoring the passage of the Victorian Climate Change Act

  • Send a message to Premier Daniel Andrews and opposition leader Matthew Guy to call for strong action on climate change in Victoria. 
  • Contact acting FoE campaigns coordinator Leigh Ewbank to get involved in our work to tackle climate change: leigh.ewbank@foe.org.au