The Andrews government cannot identify any legislation it needed to override, but experts say that is the point.When Daniel Andrews signed a declaration for a state of disaster in Victoria at 1.43pm on Sunday, it was a part of a final salvo in a battle to control a resurgent and invisible enemy.
Former emergency leaders have called for a national summit to address how to resource bushfire containment in a changing climate. “What we’re saying long term is there needs to be a paradigm shift for how we deal with these fires,” former chief of NSW Fire and Rescue Greg Mullins said. “A big national conversation needs to be had. We need farmers, councils, the military, politics.” Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday rejected calls for additional help for volunteer firefighters who have been battling blazes since August. The New South Wales coastline is expected to again be blanketed by bushfire smoke today from 83 fires, after Sydney’s air quality hit 12 times hazardous levels on Tuesday, although conditions should be cooler. NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean made the strongest comments yet from a NSW government representative on the link between climate change and bushfires, saying “no one can deny” that climate change is to blame for the smoke haze. “This is not normal and doing nothing is not a solution,” he said. Sky News host Paul Murray said “most people in Australia" are not “losing their minds” over the bushfire smoke, and won't be fooled by “climate change politics”.
Volcano victims: The official death toll from the volcanic eruption at White Island has risen to six, with New Zealand authorities today hoping to attempt recovery of the bodies of a further eight people believed dead on the island. Of the 31 injured still in hospital, 27 suffered burns to at least 30 per cent of their bodies, with many suffering burns to their lungs. Three Australians are believed among the dead. The Advertiser reports Adelaide engineer Lisa Hosking, 48, is among those critically injured in hospital. Her husband Gavin Dallow and daughter Zoe Hosking are missing. White Island Tours manager Paul Kingi has been lauded for his efforts rescuing tourists in a rubber dinghy. A coroner’s investigation into the circumstances of the deaths and injuries is under way, in parallel with a WorkSafe investigation, as the decision to allow tourists onto the volcano comes under scrutiny.
Euthanasia victory: Western Australia has become the second state in Australia to legalise euthanasia. All 55 amendments proposed by the state’s legislative council were passed by the lower house on Tuesday evening in emotional scenes. To be eligible a person would have to be terminally ill, experiencing intolerable suffering, and likely to die within six months, or 12 months for a neurodegenerative condition. A person would have to make two verbal requests and one written request, which would have to be signed off by two independent doctors.
Trump impeachment: The United States House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday revealed two articles of impeachment, which charge President Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Committee chairman Jerry Nadler, a Democrat, said Trump committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” by soliciting foreign interference in next year’s election and engaged in a “cover up” of his own alleged misconduct. The judiciary committee reportedly plans to approve the articles later this week, with a full House of Representatives vote expected next week.