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This year has seen large parts of Eastern Australia experience record-breaking rainfall and floods. From Queensland down to Tasmania, extreme weather events have taken people’s lives, led to the evacuation of communities, damaged homes, belongings and businesses, destroyed crops and livestock, and saddled us with billions of dollars in rebuilding costs.

Many communities were affected by not one, but multiple consecutive floods this year, with little to no time to recover after each one. For some families in New South Wales’ Hawkesbury region, for instance, the July 2022 flood was the fourth time in 18 months the region was inundated.

Climate change is driving a new era of ‘unnatural disasters’ – and as a country we are not prepared to cope. This year, we have seen how consecutive, record-breaking events can overwhelm emergency services and devastate communities.

There is no time to waste. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s leading body for assessing the science related to climate change, has warned that past inaction means a gradual or slow response to the climate crisis is not enough to avoid catastrophe. Only truly transformative change will effectively deal with what has become an existential threat to us all.

Key findings:

  • The danger to Australians from climate-fuelled extreme weather is far from over with experts warning that the summer ahead portends several high risks.
  • Queensland suffers the most economic damage from such disasters. The Sunshine State’s total losses from extreme weather since the 1970s were around three times those of Victoria and 50% greater than New South Wales.
  • This new era of climate-fuelled, unnatural disasters carries severe consequences for disaster and emergency management in Australia.
  • While Australian families, businesses and communities suffer through record-breaking climate disasters, the fossil fuel corporations that worsen climate change are making eyewatering profits.


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