A woman who lost everything in a bushfire last year says the federal government's Emission Reductions Fund does not go far enough in combating the effects of climate change.
All the money and power in the world is of no consequence if our world is dying around us.Numbugga resident and Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action member Janet Reynolds
Prime Minister Scott Morrison's announcement of a $2billion injection into the fund over the next 10 years is designed to help Australia meet its 2030 Paris Agreement, and will include funding for remote communities to reduce severe bushfires and help farmers prepare for drought.
"It is certainly better than nothing of course but not a real commitment as far as I'm concerned," Numbugga resident and member of the group Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action Janet Reynolds said on Monday.
"This is a life threatening issue that needs to be treated as very high priority."
The 73-year-old retired teacher visited Parliament House in Canberra recently to lobby the government to do what it can to help prevent extreme weather events like the fire that took her home and all of her belongings on August 15 last year.
"Our visit to the seat of power was extremely interesting if not wholly encouraging," Ms Reynolds said.
"My hope is that the noise is loud enough to be an influence in shaping policies that are sensible, based on fact not greed and self interest, and move us towards reducing emissions."
The Yankees Gap fire was “contained” by firefighters after 44 days in which it threatened Bemboka, Numbugga, and Brogo, destroying four homes and almost 20,000 hectares of forest.
Surprised by the fire's speed and ferocity, Ms Reynolds grabbed what few possessions she could before she was confronted by a wall of flames.
As adrenaline pumped through her veins she jumped from her car and lifted a burning tree from the road before making her way to safety.
With the CSIRO predicting the frequency and severity of fire weather days will continue to rise, Ms Reynolds said she hopes politicians can put aside "petty sniping and childish one-upmanship" to work on a bipartisan solution.
The group says the Bureau of Meteorology's 2018 State of the Climate Reports findings that the "increasing numbers and intensity of bushfires are accompanied with trends of drier conditions and less rainfall in southwestern and southeastern Australia" means politicians should act as quickly as possible.
"I want politicians to put aside their self interest, greed and greedy mates, their falsities and efforts to distract us and look clearly at what is happening to our environment," Ms Reynolds said.
"All the money and power in the world is of no consequence if our world is dying around us. We need to leave the best possible conditions for the generations to come."
Last week members of the Tathra community voted for the town to embrace its own 2030 target of 100 per cent renewable energy use.
Cities Power Partnership program development officer Tracie Armstrong said "communities like Tathra are leading the way in Australia’s clean energy transformation".
"I think politicians are controlled by the big end of town whose financial interests are not compatible with the underpinnings of climate action," Ms Reynolds said.
"Our reefs, rivers and forests are dying.
"Let's gather the best brains we have to create a plan and policies to begin tackling these issues as quickly as possible."
Ms Reynolds discovered the group after reading an article online about bushfire survivors sharing their own personal stories of loss, fear and trauma.
"There were many stories, and I was struck by the fact that even though many of these people had lost so much their desire was to somehow do something to try and prevent others from having to go through the trauma and grief that arises from these disasters," Ms Reynolds said.
"I only shared my story because of the possibility of making a difference, actually talking about it brings up a deep sadness, mainly related to the loss of wildlife and their habitats.
We need to focus on developing renewable energy, leave coal and gas in the ground, not take the chance of polluting our precious ground water.Janet Reynolds
"They can't go to supermarkets. For the first couple of months I took bags of kangaroo pellets and oats to hopefully help the remaining wildlife and it all went."
Ms Reynolds said the government is "not interested in ethics, integrity, truth, compassion", politicians are "easily controlled and manipulated" and the rebranded Climate Solutions Fund approach fails to embrace the "seriousness" of the issue.
"We need to focus on developing renewable energy, leave coal and gas in the ground, not take the chance of polluting our precious ground water. If we have to tighten our belts then it is for the good of all Australians," Ms Reynolds said.
"Let's educate our population on how they can contribute to creating a better future for their children and grandchildren."
Ms Reynolds said rebuilding her property will be a long process, with her final clean up to begin in April.
"I think that the invisibility all of us affected have experienced is the saddening factor," she said.
"No one approached me after the fire. In fact even though I went to the council and registered days after the fire, when I returned to add my phone number they had absolutely no record of me, only that I had paid my rates.
"It still upsets me thinking of that, a total lack of caring.
"Council's waste vouchers and a DA waiver were the only practical help that the fire recovery service could offer."