Woman dumps remains of fire-ravaged home outside Australian parliament
A woman dumped the remains of her bushfire-charred family home outside the Australian parliament on Monday, accusing lawmakers of failing to act on the climate crisis.
Melinda Plesman and her partner, Dean Kennedy, lost their family home of 35 years when bushfires destroyed the house in Nymboida, New South Wales, on Nov. 9.
Plesman took the remnants of her home to Parliament House in the Australian capital as part of a Greenpeace protest.
Australia has been experiencing one of its worst bushfire seasons on record. There are more than 100 bushfires burning in New South Wales, CNN affiliate 9News reported Monday, including one that is at emergency level.
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said on Monday that spring 2019 was the country’s driest on record.
“I lived on 200 acres of bush so I lost my house, I lost my way of life,” Plesman told reporters on Monday, adding that she was now living in a motel room in a nearby town after fire razed her home.
“I wanted to show the parliament and the PM my house and what’s happened, and I wanted to say that this was climate change. And I wanted to say that it’s real, and that its happening now,” she told reporters.
Plesman criticized Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s response to the bushfires, calling for “real leadership” on climate change.
“I lost my house, I lost my way of life. My whole community has. And while that was happening, the PM said that he didn’t want us to talk about climate change,” she said.
She called Morrison’s offer of prayers to the bushfire victims “just not good enough.”
“I want direct climate action and I want it now. I don’t want prayers,” she said.
“We need the parliament and the prime minister and the opposition — we need them to listen to the science, to look at all the data that’s being collected, and has been being collected for the last 20 years, and to do something.”
CNN has reached out to Morrison’s office and his governing Liberal Party for comment.
Plesman added that there was a need to stop opening coal mines, to move toward renewable energy, and to stop native forest logging in Australia.