With hazardous air from bushfire smoke blanketing parts of the state, the NSW Labor Opposition has backed Anthony Albanese’s description of the situation as a “crisis” yesterday and his calls for an urgent strategy to deal with it.
Yesterday, communities in Richmond, Bathurst, Orange, Armidale, Tamworth, Albury and Wagga breathed in air defined by the Berejiklian Government’s own Air Quality Index as “hazardous” - the most extreme rating.
This follows hazardous air recordings in the Upper Hunter, Goulburn and Western and South Western Sydney in recent days - and across Sydney nine days ago.
Access today’s index here: https://www.dpie.nsw.gov.au/air-quality/current-air-quality
“State Labor is calling for three immediate actions from the Berejiklian Government - and if Anthony Albanese agrees we need a strategy all the better, because all levels of government need to be on board,” said Shadow Health Minister Ryan Park.
“This week, I’ve called for the Premier and her Health Minister Brad Hazzard to issue daily hazardous pollution warnings and practical health advice to affected communities.”
“People need to be alerted if they are in harms way and what they should do - should they wear face masks? Is it safe to sleep with the windows open or let children play outdoors?”
“This advice should be backed by an extensive public health information campaign across mainstream media and social media channels.”
“Finally, local hospital and ambulance services need immediate additional resources to deal with escalating health complaints, particularly as that relates to cardiovascular conditions, breathing difficulties and asthma.”
“There is literally nothing more important than the air we breathe. Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Prime Minister Scott Morrison have failed to act as hazardous smoke has blanketed our State.”
Earlier this week, 22 health organisations including Lung Foundation Australia, The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine and Macquarie University’s Australian Institute of Health Innovation described the crisis as a “public health emergency” and noted that “this moment calls for political leadership”.
WHAT HE SAID
“Yes smoke is a problem, but smoke, as it always does, will blow away.” Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack, yesterday.