Bushfires royal commission granted another two months to file report

Original article by
The New Daily – Page: Online : 24-Jul-20

The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements has been given until 28 October to present its final report, representing a two-month extension. Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud said commission chair Mark Binskin had sought the extension because the impact of COVID-19 had made it hard for some stakeholders to provide it with information in a timely manner. Littleproud has also announced that the federal government will allocate $88.1 million in funding over 10 years for additional research into bushfires and natural hazards.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO NATIONAL NATURAL DISASTER ARRANGEMENTS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Wineries count cost of smoke on premium grapes

Original article by Simon Evans
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 14-Jul-20

Tyrrell’s Wines stated in late January that it might not be able to use 80 per cent of its grape crop because of smoke taint from the summer bushfires. However, MD Bruce Tyrrell says it ended up not being able to make wine from 85 per cent of its crop, with most of the grapes it could not use being consumed by cattle. He says the problem of smoke taint from bushfires is something the wine industry is likely to have to deal with again some time in the next 10 years. Cassegrain Wines, which had its grape intake cut by 70 per cent because of smoke taint, will be part of a three-year research project that will look at new ways of dealing with grapes exposed to smoke.

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TYRRELL’S VINEYARDS PTY LTD, CASSEGRAIN VINEYARDS

Bushfire recovery bill could top $2 billion: PM

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 12-May-20

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says that federal government spending on helping communities to recover from the impact of the summer bushfires could end up exceeding $2 billion. He has also announced another $650 million in bushfire assistance, with Morrison and Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud saying that the regions that were hit the hardest would be prioritised under the latest funding. Upwards of 16,700 applications have been approved for special small business support grants of $10,000, as well as 1,300 applications for small business grants of $50,000.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Bushfires freed two years’ worth of CO2

Original article by Graham Lloyd
The Australian – Page: 7 : 21-Apr-20

The Bushfires Royal Commission has been told that the 2019-20 bushfires released 830 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. However, the extra emissions will not be counted towards Australia’s 2020 Kyoto and 2030 Paris emission reduction targets, as it is assumed that the CO2 will be reabsorbed by trees as they regrow. The federal Environment Department has told the royal commission that 96 per cent of emissions from the 2002-03 Canberra bushfires have been reabsorbed, while the amount of CO2 released by the 2019-20 bushfires was almost double Australia’s annual emissions from energy, industry and transportation.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY

Royal commission begins into harrowing black summer of bushfires

Original article by Bellinda Kontominas
The New Daily – Page: Online : 17-Apr-20

The royal commission into Australia’s deadly 2019/20 bushfire season has been formally opened via an online hearing on 16 April. The commission has already held 17 community forums in bushfire-affected areas, but all future hearings will be conducted online, due to the impact of COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions. Thirty-three people lost their lives during the fires, while over 10 million hectares were burnt, and 3,000 homes and 7,000 outbuildings were destroyed. The commission hopes to release its findings before the start of the next bushfire season.

CORPORATES

Already 1-in-6 Australian businesses have been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 25-Feb-20

In mid-February around 1-in-6 Australian businesses (15%) have already been affected by the coronavirus. This new threat to business comes after 28% of Australian businesses said they have been affected by the extensive bushfires over the last few months, according to a special Roy Morgan Snap SMS Survey of 1,170 Australian businesses. A little over a week after the Australian Government stopped all direct commercial flights to China in early February the coronavirus (COVID-19) is already striking several industries. Around two-fifths of Manufacturers are already reporting being affected, closely followed by a third of Education & training businesses and those in the Wholesale industry. Other industries to already be feeling the effects of the coronavirus include Accommodation & Food services (which includes travel and tourism businesses), Community services, Administrative & Support services and Property & Business services. Meanwhile, a deeper analysis of the industries most heavily impacted by the bushfires/floods shows that over 40% of businesses in the Accommodation and Food services sector, which includes travel and tourism, say they have been affected either ‘A great deal’ or ‘Somewhat’. Around a third of businesses in the Retail and Property & Business services industries have been affected, while there have also been disproportionately large impacts on Manufacturing, Transport, Postal and Warehousing, Public administration & defence, Education & training and Recreation & personal.

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ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Practical focus for fire inquiry

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Rachel Baxendale, David Ross, Sarah Elks, Yoni Bashan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 21-Feb-20

The federal government has released the terms of reference for its bushfires royal commission, which will be headed by former defence force chief Mark Binskin. The six-month inquiry’s focus will be on natural disaster management and improving Australia’s resilience to natural disasters. Labor and the Greens have criticised the government for excluding policies aimed at reducing carbon emissions from the inquiry’s terms of reference.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS

Scorched land safe from fires for years

Original article by Kieran Gair
The Australian – Page: 2 : 14-Feb-20

The CSIRO estimates that some 10 million hectares of land has been razed during the 2019-20 bushfire season. This exceeds the combined area burnt in the 2009 Black Saturday and 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires. Landscape ecologist Grant Williamson says the massive destruction of plant life in the bushfire zones means there will be no danger of fires in these areas for at least four years, as there is nothing left to burn. Meanwhile, the Rural Fire Service has confirmed that all bushfires in New South Wales have been contained.

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CSIRO, UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA, NEW SOUTH WALES RURAL FIRE SERVICE

No food, no fuel, no phones: Bushfires showed we’re only ever one step from system collapse

Original article by Anthony Richardson
The New Daily – Page: Online : 11-Feb-20

Australia’s recent bushfires revealed the shortcomings of the ‘just in time’ model used for the distribution of food and fuel. When the Victorian town of Mallacoota was cut off by road and air because of the fires, food and fuel supplies quickly became so low that there were suggestions of a pending humanitarian crisis. Australia currently imports 90 per cent of its oil, most of which comes through the Strait of Hormuz. Australia is meant to keep 90 days of fuel supplies in reserve as part of its International Energy Agency obligations, but at one point in late 2019, it reportedly had only 23 days of jet fuel, 22 days of diesel and 18 days of petrol in reserve.

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INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY

Fire inquiry accepts climate link: Morrison

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 6-Feb-20

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has advised that former defence force chief Mark Binskin will head the federal government’s bushfires royal commission. Morrison says the inquiry will proceed on the basis that climate change is real and contributed to the scale and severity of the bushfires. National Party leader Michael McCormack says that while human activity has contributed to climate change, it is the role of scientists to determine the extent of this. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in turn has pointed to arson as one of the causes of the bushfires.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS