This image was captured of the Cobraball bushfire burning in the early stages near Old Byfield Road in late 2019. Picture: Contributed
This image was captured of the Cobraball bushfire burning in the early stages near Old Byfield Road in late 2019. Picture: Contributed

Hearing to discuss the health effects of 2019-2020 bushfires

SCIENCE and health will be the focus of a public hearing today for the Senate Inquiry into the 2019-2020 bushfire season, which resulted in 11,000 hectares of land being devastated in Livingstone Shire.

The hearings, held in Canberra, will focus on the clear link between climate change and the weather conditions that generated the 2019-20 bushfires, as well as the physical and mental health impacts of the bushfires.

Committee Chair, Senator Tim Ayres, said the hearing would feature some of the country’s most well-regarded scientists and scientific bodies.

“Both the bushfire season and the recovery process represent an immense public health challenge,” he said.

“Today we will hear from doctors and peak health organisations on how to manage the mental and physical effects of such a catastrophic event.”

READ: Livingstone’s bushfire’s mitigation key to plan

READ: Finally, Cobraball rates relief clarity

This morning the Finance and Public Administration References Committee will be hearing from scientists and scientific bodies, including the Bureau of Meteorology, the Australian Academy of Science and Geoscience Australia.

Later in the afternoon the committee will be hearing from the health sector, including the Australian Medical Association, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and Public Health Australia.

Back in May, Livingstone Shire Council revealed how it was working in close partnership with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services through the Local Disaster Management Group and Fire Management Group, to develop a bushfire risk management plan.

That came on the back of long-time Emu Park resident Graham Miller expressing his concern authorities had not learned lessons from the Cobraball bushfire disaster.

Council also received a share of $448.5 million from the Regional Bushfire Recovery and Development Program to revive its economy following the devastating bushfire season.



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