Bushfire survivors want more water bombers, climate change action

Victorians who lost their homes in last summer’s catastrophic bushfires are calling for a massive expansion of the state’s fleet of aerial water bombers.

As the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements handed down its final report to the federal government on Wednesday, survivors also pleaded with governments to take the threat of climate change as seriously as they have the coronavirus pandemic.

The more than 80 recommendations made by the bushfire royal commission are yet to be made public.

Jann Gilbert still wonders if water-bombing aircraft could have saved Mallacoota.

“If we had aerial resources, then the fire coming up from Wingan River could have been stopped or at least slowed down, but it was just allowed to burn uninterrupted for a week until it ran straight into us,” said Ms Gilbert, who lost her unit in the fires.

More than 100 homes were reduced to rubble as fire tore through the small East Gippsland town, turning the sky blood red as thousands sought refuge on the beach.

Read more on this story at the Sydney Morning Herald

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