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Greens call for permanent disaster fund

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Christine Milne

Australian Senate Australian Greens Leader

media release

Tuesday 29 January 2013 Greens call for permanent disaster fund The Australian Greens are calling for a permanent disaster fund to care for people coping with flood, fire and other catastrophes around the country. “It is a tragedy we have lost four lives in the extreme flooding, but our emergency services must be commended for their role in keeping loss of life as low as it is. I also commend the people who have been working hard all around the country to contribute to better and better disaster preparedness, from the academics with their disaster research to the workers on the ground,” Senator Christine Milne said today. “As the country of the fair go, as a community of people who look after each other, we should share the burden of this and other catastrophes rather than leave people alone to cope by themselves. “But a one-off levy makes no sense when you recognise that the extreme weather events we’re seeing this summer are not one-off events. “The Greens have long argued for a permanent, adequately resourced disaster fund, and the Senate Inquiry into extreme weather events will examine the options. “The science tells us that climate change is causing and will cause more frequent and extreme weather events. If we are to be properly prepared for this changed world we will need an adequate fund to help people deal with the costs. “Of course, in order to do this, both the Labor party and Tony Abbott need to grapple with Australia’s revenue crisis. “The Prime Minister and Tony Abbott have to be honest with the Australian people and admit that we need to raise revenue not only for a disaster fund, but for so many things we need to improve people’s lives, including an increase to Newstart, dental care, the Gonski recommendations for better and fairer school funding, and the National Disability Insurance Scheme. “Climate change is expensive, and the cost of not acting now will far outweigh the costs of acting. “But unfortunately we are currently facing extreme weather events that are costing states and the federal government billions, and costing people their homes, their livelihoods and their lives. “We are better when we act together.” Contact Alexandra Lamb on 0437 587 562