19 DECEMBER 2019
MAYORS CALL FOR SUPPORT FOR COMMUNITIES CHOKED BY SMOKE
MAYORS OF NEW SOUTH WALES’ smoke-shrouded communities have called for guidance and support from State and Federal Governments to keep communities safe during unprecedented air pollution caused by bushfires.
Leaders of bushfire smoke and fire impacted suburbs communities such as the Blue Mountains and Bellingen, have called on the State and Federal Governments to recognise the public health crisis impacting New South Wales communities.
Mark Greenhill, Mayor of Blue Mountains, said that his community is besieged by bushfire and is struggling to cope with extreme air pollution.
“The Blue Mountains is in the midst of a fire and smoke emergency. We are taking short-term solutions and doing the best we can to advise our communities on how to stay safe during hazardous air pollution levels, but need proper guidelines and assistance.”
“Under the present circumstances, we need support to ensure the safety of our community and allows us to get back to our normal lives.”
Dominic King, Mayor of Bellingen, said that communities are suffering and unprepared because the Federal Government has ignored the warnings about climate change.
“In Bellingen we’ve been fighting fires for months, and smoke is choking our community. We’ve never had to deal with anything like this before. We’ve had extended periods of smoke in our area that are so bad that we haven’t seen the stars in months.”
“This is not normal. Unless the Federal Government pulls it head out of the sand and urgent action is taken to reduce greenhouse emissions that are driving climate change, choking smoke haze could become a regular feature of our summer.”