Port Macquarie and MidCoast regions rank high for climate-fuelled disasters

A RECENT report has identified the New South Wales communities most severely impacted by climate-fuelled disasters in recent years.

According to Emergency Leaders for Climate Action’s ‘Too Close to Home’ report, three local government areas in NSW are among the top ten in Australia for frequency of such events.

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Clarence Valley tops the list with 34 incidents, followed by MidCoast with 33, and Port Macquarie with 30.

The number of Australians displaced by natural disasters has surged dramatically, rising from 47,694 between 2008-2013 to 149,661 between 2018-2023.

The report emphasises the urgent need for the Australian Government to enhance community preparedness and implement crucial measures to protect against climate-driven disasters.

Greg Mullins AO AFSM, founder of Emergency Leaders for Climate Action, stressed the importance of immediate measures.

“As communities face more fires and floods, fuelled by climate pollution, it is inconceivable that the Federal Opposition would delay necessary climate action for a false solution like nuclear,” Mullins stated.

“Nuclear can’t reduce climate pollution quickly enough, endangering millions of lives and homes.”

Mullins highlighted the increasing strain on firefighters and emergency responders due to the escalating frequency and intensity of these disasters.

“Firefighters are being pushed to their limits by these intensifying events.

“They work tirelessly to protect Australians.”

The report calls for urgent cuts to climate pollution to protect communities currently facing worsening impacts and to safeguard future generations.

“It is past time we shift from responding to disasters to preventing and preparing for them, building community capacity rather than relying solely on emergency services,” Mr Mullins said.

Rebecca McNaught, research fellow at the University Centre for Rural Health in Lismore, and president of the South Golden Beach Community Resilience Team, highlighted the importance of community support.

“We are a nation that cares for our neighbours in times of crisis,” she said.

“Through floods and fires, communities have provided essential support for each other.

“These efforts need better recognition and resources.”

McNaught emphasised that supporting communities in disaster preparation benefits their overall well-being.

“By resourcing efforts to prepare and protect each other, communities can move from trauma and fear to healing and hope.”

This report underscores the critical need for immediate and robust action to prepare and protect communities from the increasing threat of climate-fuelled disasters.


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