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OPINION: Observing Australia During the Bushfire Crisis

23 April 2020

As an international student at the University of Melbourne, I am dumbstruck at what’s happening in this country.

The last few months in Australia have seen frustration and confusion towards the Australian Government and their response to bushfires among the residents of the country. The impact of this disaster has transcended the political situation of the country at every level.

Despite 2019 warnings from the NSW Firefighters Association about the catastrophic weather conditions and the need for efficient resources for the firefighting teams in the future, some Australians have felt not enough was done.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Anneke Demanuele, a convenor of Uni Students for Climate Justice said, “We are running out of time to act on climate.”

When I first arrived in Australia I felt everything here was organised and that the government really put in an effort to maintain the wellbeing of the society. But after the bushfires, my feelings have changed as I watched youths emerge, voicing concerns about the effect of climate change and the state of the government.

Despite acknowledging climate change at a press conference in early January, Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has said “no response by anyone in government anywhere in the world can be linked to any one fire event”, as recorded in the Guardian.

I question the turbulence that is visible in the government.  Agencies have not been sorted out; Why has no climate action been taken on preserving the environment? It has lost this country’s flora and fauna, eye-catching attractions for tourists across the world.

Student protests have demanded the world to push their governments to take action
against climate change, rather than send their thoughts and prayers for a better tomorrow. 

As an international student at the University of Melbourne, I am dumbstruck at what’s happening in this country. I feel there should be further dialogue set between the government and the general public, through which the government is made to listen. This may help propagate them to take an active interest in resolving the adversities surrounding climate change.

With huge numbers at the January 10th Climate Protest, and many following throughout February and into March, I am seeing further government backlash, questions of accountability and discussions on climate change and its hazardous impact on not only Australia but our world.

 

References:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-29/school-strike-for-climate–sees-students-march-across -country/11749566

https://thediplomat.com/2020/01/australian-bushfires-a-government-in-disarray/

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/04/morrisons-government-on-the-bushfire s-from-attacking-climate-lunatics-to-calling-in-the-troops – Guardian

 https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/political-stunt-federal-government-launches-bushfire-inq uiry-to-probe-state-policy-20191223-p53mh3.html 

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/bushfire-crisis-fuels-student-climate-activism/ne ws-story/701bd0091705ffc6bdf9778e56fec68e 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/australia-fire-crisis-fuels-groundswell-of-sup port-for-bolder-action-on-climate-change/2020/01/10/cc1fea3c-32a6-11ea-971b-43bec3ff9860_ story.html


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