Australia needs an ‘action plan with top level leadership’ to combat climate change

Australia is not prepared for climate related disasters due to a failure in leadership and the country needs a climate action plan, according to former defence force chief Admiral Chris Barrie.

“Leaders aren’t paid to sit in their armchairs and fiddle, leaders are paid to set an objective, tell everybody what’s needed … and get on with it,” he told Sky News.

“In this country I think our community has done pretty well but at the leadership level I think we’ve been lacking and I think we would all like to know what it is we need to do, business wants to know what the targets look like so they can make their plans appropriately.”

Mr Barrie said the national action plan would need “top level leadership” and it would have things already included on local government climate action plans.

“Nearly every local government authority … has a climate action plan, those were prepared some years ago and they included the need to change infrastructure such as sewage treatment plants that will be underwater with sea level rise and storm surges and yet we haven’t done much to make those kinds of changes.”

“I think our national action plan would have to include how to pay for it, it would also have to include what the objectives are in the different sectors of our economy, it would have to show us in communities what we need to do.”

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