Policy response to bushfires and COVID-19
From Keith Ince, Chair, and Amanda Martin OAM, CEO.
After a shocking start to the year, we enter winter with a tentative hope that people and our plants and animals are beginning to recover from the bushfires and that we are emerging from the COVID-19 lock down. Having said this, we understand the twin crises continue to unfold and we are still grieving for the people, communities and nature that have been devastated by fires and for those that have been impacted by COVID-19.
We have actively supported a giving response to the bushfire crisis and we thank members for helping us to create the database of potential donation recipients. This has been one of the most frequently visited pages on our website. We continue to seek further strategic and targeted ways for philanthropy to respond to the fires.
In response to COVID-19 we have shifted our work online and we are holding fortnightly funder catch ups and producing a weekly newsletter. Our work is also shifting toward supporting the transition from COVID-19 to a sustainable and climate lead future.
We understand many members are now looking to go beyond giving and use personal influence to advocate for a comprehensive government response to both these issues.
To support this, in February, immediately after the fires, we consulted with a wide range of environment and climate change groups to identify the key policies the Australian Government needs to implement in response to the fires. These policies encompass the response to species impacted by fires and to climate change.
We have drafted the attached letter for you to communicate with your local Members of Parliament, particularly those who sit in the Federal Parliament. You can of course add or change the letter in any way that reflects your personal views and experiences or to influence your state or local governments. Also attached is an outline of the policy priorities which you can use as an AEGN document or you can amend for your own personal use without the AEGN logo.
Please let Kris Anderson – firstname.lastname@example.org know if you decide to send a letter to your local MP, so that we can track our response.