CENTRAL Victorians face the same heightened risk of bushfire into the future as other Australians despite escaping the devastating 2019-2020 relatively unscathed, local voices have warned.
It comes in response to the report from the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, which warned events such as severe bushfires would be more frequent and more severe in the future, driven by climate change.
The Bendigo Sustainability Group says the region faces the same raised risk of natural disaster into the future, as the climate warmed.
Read more: Flammable future set to hit central Victoria
Member Colin Lambie said the Royal Commission report bore out what scientists had forecast for years, that climate change would made fire more frequent and more severe.
Mr Lambie said transition to renewable energy was critical, because electricity was the single biggest contributor to Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.
He said even with serious action, it would take years, if not decades to turn the problem around.
"What is predicted for us, is that we become dryer. The threat of bushfires for us is going to increase, that's an inevitable conclusion or outcome for us," Mr Lambie said.
"It's going to become dryer, it's going to become a greater problem for us in Bendigo."
Former Victorian emergency management commissioner Craig Lapsley said the report highlighted that climate change was a key driver of the fires that tore through millions of hectares across several states during summer.
He said it was absolutely critical Australia cut its use of fossil fuels, one of the biggest drivers of emissions.
Mr Lapsley warned central Victoria would face more hot days and more windy days, leading to more fire days.
He said people on the ground were saying they were struggling to find safe days to conduct fuel reduction burns.
Mr Lapsley said the attention given to resilience and recovery in the report was also helpful.
The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements was a response to Australia's devastating 2019-2020 bushfire season.
Climate change's role in exacerbating risk of extreme weather events in Australia was among the key findings released in the commission's report on Friday.
It recommended the government produce downscaled climate projections to inform the assessment of future natural disaster risk.
The report also found the federal government should play a larger role in Australia's response to natural disasters.
It called for the Prime Minister to be able to declare a state of national emergency.
- With AAP.
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