Australia — DEATHS from bushfires and floods are the result of political inaction on climate change, one of Victoria’s most powerful unionists said yesterday.
Speaking at a rally calling for the introduction of a carbon price, United Firefighters Union national secretary Peter Marshall said bushfire deaths in South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia, as well as fatalities in the recent Queensland floods, were the result of politicians dithering on the issue.
“(These events) were not by accident. There were fires because something is happening with the environment,” Mr Marshall told the thousands of people who rallied outside the State Library yesterday.
“The decision-makers did not listen to the scientists. While that debate was going on, lives were being lost and houses destroyed.”
Comedian and Melbourne rally MC Corinne Grant said a carbon tax must be introduced this year.
“We need to try and combat the scaremongering coming from our largest polluters,” Ms Grant said.
Australian Conservation Foundation chief executive Don Henry said it was time to ramp up the people-power campaign “because in the next three months our parliament’s going to decide whether we take action”.
Similar rallies were held in state capitals around the country, attracting crowds organisers said totalled 44,000.