Today 26% of Australian businesses have been affected by bushfires – Australia needs to support businesses in the Accommodation and Food services industries with Visitors and Tourists

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 28-Jan-20

A special Roy Morgan Snap SMS Survey shows that 26% of Australian businesses have been affected either ‘A great deal’ (7%), ‘Somewhat’ (10%) or ‘A little’ (9%) by the bushfires. Some 74% of businesses have been unaffected by the bushfire. A deeper analysis of the industries most heavily impacted shows that over a third of businesses in the Accommodation and Food services sector, which includes travel and tourism, say they have been affected ‘A great deal’ – higher than any other industry. Businesses in Queensland and NSW have been the hardest hit, with 12% of Queensland businesses and 11% of NSW businesses affected ‘A great deal’ by the bushfires – far higher than any other State. In general businesses in NSW are the most likely to have been impacted, with 35% affected in some way, compared to around a quarter of businesses in Queensland (25%) and Victoria (24%). In contrast, only 16% of businesses in WA and 11% in Tasmania have been affected at all. These findings are based on an SMS survey of 1,308 Australian businesses.

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ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Homes not built to survive worst fires

Original article by Olivia Caisley
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 24-Jan-20

More than 2,800 homes have been lost across Australia during the current bushfire season, including 49 in Queensland. The state government has been urged to review the building standards for homes in bushfire-prone areas; the state has a fire danger index rating of just 40 for such homes, compared with an FDI-100 rating in Victoria and most parts of New South Wales. Professor Grahame Douglas, a fire danger expert from the University of Western Sydney, says Queensland should look at upgrading to an FDI-100 rating for areas that are at risk from bushfires.

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UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN SYDNEY

Industry group wants climate policy on agenda in wake of bushfires

Original article by Mike Foley
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 23-Jan-20

Energy Minister Angus Taylor will hold a roundtable meeting with representatives of the nation’s power companies on 23 January. They will discuss the industry’s response to the bushfires crisis. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says the meeting should also address the issue of climate change. Craig Memery of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre says the agenda should include strategies to make the energy grid more resilient while avoiding a significant impost on consumers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, PUBLIC INTEREST ADVOCACY CENTRE

Malcolm Turnbull slams PM’s response to climate change and bushfires

Original article by Bevan Shields
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 23-Jan-20

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has used a BBC interview to criticise his successor Scott Morrison over his handling of the bushfires crisis. Amongst other things, Turnbull has accused Morrison of misleading the public by downplaying the impact of climate change on the bushfires. He has also questioned why Morrison had ignored warnings from fire experts about the likely severity of the bushfire season. Turnbull has also called US President Donald Trump the world’s "leading climate denier" and doubled down on his criticism of News Corp’s stance on climate change.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION

PM: cut fire fuel, not just emissions

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 22-Jan-20

Prime Minister Scott Morrison argues that undertaking bushfire hazard-reduction burns is just as important as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, he notes that unlike carbon emissions, there is no national system for reporting progress on reducing fuel loads in national parks and forests. The issue of prescribed burning has come under scrutiny in the wake of the bushfires crisis, which has claimed 29 lives to date. Labor leader Anthony Albanese claims that climate change has contributed to the intensity of the bushfires and the length of the bushfire season.

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

Bushfire loans, grants should be easier to get, small businesses say

Original article by Nick Bonyhady
The Age – Page: Online : 22-Jan-20

Small business owners in bushfire-affected areas have criticised the excessive amount of paperwork required to apply for the federal government’s concessional loans and grants. Shadow small business minister Brendan O’Connor says the government needs to provide greater clarity as to eligibility for the grants and loans, and when businesses will begin to receive financial assistance. The government will also make 10 financial counsellors available, but O’Connor says this is clearly inadequate given that the bushfires have affected about 200,000 small businesses.

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AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Bushfires affect habitat of more than 100 threatened species, department estimates

Original article by Mike Foley
The Age – Page: Online : 21-Jan-20

The federal Department of the Environment has released an initial analysis of the impact of the bushfires on the habitat of threatened species. It shows that more than 80 per cent of the known habitat of 49 listed species was within bushfire zones, as well as at least 50 per cent of the habitat of another 65 listed species. Professor Glenda Wardle from the University of Sydney warns that some threatened species will be even more at risk due to the bushfires, while the status of some species is likely to be upgraded to threatened. She adds that the majority of threated species that were hit by bushfires are plants rather than wildlife.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY

$4.5b up in flames as visitors cancel

Original article by Fiona Carruthers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 17-Jan-20

The Australian Tourism Export Council has advised that 70 per cent of its members have received cancellations because of the bushfires, for trips ranging between $5,000 and $500,000. The decline in overseas visitors booking holidays to Australia is expected to cost the economy at least $4.5 billion by the end of 2020. Tourism Australia has withdrawn its $15 million ‘Matesong’ campaign from the UK market as a result of the bushfires, but ATEC MD Peter Shelley says the federal government needs to fund a new global campaign to promote Australia once the fires subside.

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AUSTRALIAN TOURISM EXPORT COUNCIL LIMITED,{SPAC}TOURISM AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Fears PM’s carbon credit projects gone to blazes

Original article by Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 17-Jan-20

The Department of the Environment & Energy has indicated that it is too soon to determine whether the bushfires crisis has had any impact on projects that have been backed by the federal government’s Emissions Reduction Fund. It also says most of the fires have been in regions that do not have ERF projects, although analysis shows that many such projects are either in or close to fire-affected areas. The Clean Energy Regulator is undertaking a review of the effects of the bushfires on ERF projects.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY,{SPAC}EMISSIONS REDUCTION FUND,{SPAC}AUSTRALIA. CLEAN ENERGY REGULATOR

NSW will follow ‘experts’, not Morrison: Premier

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 16-Jan-20

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has reiterated that the state will undertake its own review of the bushfire season. However, she adds that it will be open to participating in the federal government’s proposed royal commission. Berejiklian has also stressed that the state’s policy on hazard reduction burns is based on advice from experts rather than politicians. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has suggested that a federal inquiry could look at issues such as state governments’ preparedness for the bushfire season, including hazard reduction burns.

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NEW SOUTH WALES. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, UNITED FIREFIGHTERS’ UNION OF AUSTRALIA