The flooding catastrophe across NSW and Queensland has been labelled one of the most extreme disasters in Australia’s history.
A supercharged climate with rain bombs, flash floods and destruction will be Australia’s new normal, a new report warns.
Fresh analysis from the Climate Council of the unfolding flood crisis across NSW and Queensland paints a grim picture of life for some Australian communities.
It ranks the deluge that saw thousands of people across the two states lose their homes as one of the “most extreme disasters in Australia’s history”.
At least 20 people have died since the crisis began.
Climate change, the council said, is “firmly embedded” in the catastrophe.
It’s a sentiment the Prime Minister on Wednesday shared on a visit to flood devastated Lismore.
“I think it is just an obvious fact (that) Australia is getting harder to live in because of these disasters,” Scott Morrison said.
Climate Council chief executive Amanda McKenzie said despite the contrition, Mr Morrison failed to address the issue at the heart of the disaster.
“Australians are paying a high price for the lack of meaningful national action to tackle climate change and our elected leaders must be held accountable,” she said.
“Australians want and deserve better than this.”
It comes as Mr Morrison declared the floods across NSW a national emergency, the first time the power has been used since its inception following the 2019-20 summer bushfires.
The report also warned communities – and emergency services – recovery time between extreme weather events is rapidly shrinking.
For Queenslanders, the bill for extreme weather events between 2010 and 2019 were more than double any other state, costing $18 billion.
Climate councillor and economist Nicki Hutley said the scars of the disaster will have “economy wide impacts” for years to come.
“With governments now talking of extending the cyclone insurance pool to cover flood and fire for these households, the costs to all Australians is rapidly growing,” she said.