SENATOR CAROL BROWN
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE AND REGIONAL TOURISM
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TASMANIA
AUSTRALIAN CIVILIAN VESSELS AND CREWS VITAL IN BUSHFIRE CRISIS
The bush fire emergency has brought out the best in our community.
“Volunteer fire fighters, people rescuing and caring for our native wildlife, community groups working together to provide food, shelter and support for those who have lost everything and people throughout Australia making generous donations for the relief and rebuild effort,” said Carol Brown, Labor Senator for Tasmania.
“The Labor Opposition supports and values the role undertaken by ADF personnel and assets in the rescue, relief and assistance it has provided to many of our fire affected communities.
“However, the fires have also shown areas of vulnerability in our supply and rescue capability.
“A number of Australian civilian vessels and crews provided vital rescue and support to communities severely impacted and endangered by the fires,” said Senator Brown.
The Labor Opposition also acknowledges the need to develop a more formal and coordinated civilian capacity to assist our communities in times of emergency.
The experiences of these crews and civilian maritime operators have prompted a broader debate that canvasses a number of options to develop and permanent civilian capacity to undertake large-scale emergency relief and rescue operations.
A number of options have been presented to the Opposition, including:
“I have written to the Prime Minister inviting him you to consider these options along with others that will certainly emerge as the events of the last few months are reviewed,” Senator Brown said. “We are keen to ensure that the Government and Opposition work together to develop a non-partisan position on the development of a civilian maritime emergency response capacity.”