The Morrison Government urgently enact a national response to climate change and bushfires

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Dear Prime Minister, Minister Littleproud, Minister Taylor and Senator Reynolds

We write to request your urgent leadership on the bushfire crisis Australia is currently facing, and that the Australian Government moves swiftly to implement an escalated national response to climate change and carbon emissions reduction. Specifically, we request that the Australian Government:

1. Provide urgent and immediate practical and financial assistance to the bushfire emergency occurring across Australia, including:

a) large scale deployment of Australian Defence Force capabilities to assist in firefighting, evacuation, and any emergency assistance and resourcing as determined in consultation with state emergency management authorities, and

b) redirecting the forecast budget surplus to establish a disaster relief fund.

2. Convene a summit of climate, bushfire and emergency management experts and all levels of government, to develop a national climate change adaptation and disaster resilience strategy. This strategy should be backed by increased Commonwealth financial assistance and resourcing to ensure firefighting and disaster planning and response capabilities are proportionate to the increased scale, duration and intensity of bushfire, flood and other climate emergencies. Commonwealth funding for ensuring the longer term resilience of communities is also critical to the success of such a strategy. 

3. Effect a rapid and coordinated national transition to zero carbon emissions. As a first step, develop a roadmap to zero emissions based on the advice of leading climate change scientists and in consultation with industry. The roadmap should include a pricing mechanism for carbon emissions, support for rapid scaling up of zero emissions industries, such as solar and wind, and support for fossil fuel reliant communities to transition to clean industries. The roadmap must be implemented as a matter of national urgency, and would enable Australia to leverage its influence internationally.

4. Ensure electoral probity, improve political transparency and protect the public interest, by:

a) Reforming Australia's approach to political donations before the next Federal election in 2022. Reforms should be designed to remove undue influence of donors and to improve the integrity of elections. The proposed reforms in Queensland - including capped donations and electioneering - alongside that State's approach to disclosure of donations, could provide a model for best practice.

b) Regulating political lobbying at the federal level by introducing legislation to ensure transparency, probity and independence of legislators and regulators from industry.
 
c) Establishing a federal independent corruption commission to protect the public interest, prevent breaches of public trust and provide independent scrutiny of the conduct of members of Parliament and public officials. Such a commission should have retrospective powers. 

The climate science confirms this is a global emergency. I will be voting for candidates and parties that have a proactive and policy-positive approach to the climate crisis.

Yours sincerely,