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The Prime Minister’s assurance today in Question Time that the Federal Government is doing everything possible to mitigate Hobart’s bushfire risk rang hollow when he so deliberately avoided my call for a conscience vote on resetting Australia’s response to climate change.

While it was heartening to be assured the Federal Government is forward-leaning and working closely with Tasmania when preparing for the possibility of bushfires, the simple fact is that any effective response to Australia’s droughts, fires and storms must include urgent emissions reductions. For the Federal Government to continue to ignore this is dangerously negligent.

Hobart is the most bushfire vulnerable capital city in Australia and there’s still the possibility of dangerous bushfires this summer and autumn. Indeed the University of Tasmania Pyrogeography and Fire Science Professor, David Bowman, has likened Hobart’s fire threat to playing Russian roulette with a half-loaded chamber.

Hobart’s extreme bushfire risk is unarguably exacerbated by climate change. Australia desperately needs to be put on a credible pathway to zero net carbon emissions and 100% reliance on renewable energy.