PS silenced on climate link
New South Wales public servants have been told “not to discuss the link between climate change and bushfires”.
NSW Minister for the Environment Matt Kean has conceded that public servants were told “not to discuss the link between climate change and bushfires” at a conference specifically about adapting to a changing climate.
The AdaptNSW Forum was organised by the state’s Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, which makes projections of how climate change will affect the state and what can be done to prepare.
Reports say the following message was sent to staff from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment on Tuesday: “For those attending AdaptNSW today, public affairs has issued advice not to discuss the link between climate change and bushfires. Refer questions in session and plenaries to bushfire reps.”
Mr Kean says it was all a mistake, or rather a “miscommunication” that led to an “incorrect notification” being sent to staff attending the conference.
Mr Kean confirmed that climate change is “a real issue”, and that scientific advice overwhelmingly said it would lead to more extreme weather.
“I want to see our best minds debating and discussing what we can do to minimise the impact of climate change and to address the impacts we are experiencing,” the minister told reporters.