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Albanese calls for disaster COAG meeting

Anthony Albanese has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison urging for a special meeting of federal, state and territories to deal with the ongoing need for a national disaster strategy.

The Labor leader said through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) it can ensure the best coordination is in place, that there is support for rural fire services and volunteers and appropriate firefighting equipment, including aerial services available at all times.

“It is very clear that whilst you can’t say that any individual event is just because of climate change, we know that the scientists told us that the bushfire seasons would be longer and more intense, just like with other natural disasters,” Mr Albanese told reporters in Melbourne on Sunday.

“Very clearly, this season means that it’s a huge wake-up call for us to ensure that our preparedness is the best possible. And what that needs is coordination across the different levels of government.”

He said the prime minister should convene a COAG meeting before the end of the year, rather than continue to provide assistance – albeit welcome – in an ad hoc way.

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