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31 January 2020

The summer holiday period is usually rather quiet on the political front, with the nation’s attention traditionally more focused on things such as the cricket and tennis.

But the December/January holiday season was dominated by the devastating fires that ravaged their way through large swathes of regional and rural Australia.

The tragic events transcended the Australian media landscape and made front pages around the world. And although the flames will eventually be extinguished, the politics of the issue has far from run its course.

The Federal Government has come under pressure from certain segments of the community wanting more action on climate change, while state governments will also need to respond to calls for more flexible laws regarding back burning. The Prime Minister has also floated the idea of a Royal Commission into the bushfires, and should this eventuate the issue could well end up remaining front and centre for much of 2020.

Meanwhile, the Government is also having to navigate the fallout from the Auditor General’s report into funding allocations for sports grants before the last election. Time will tell what impact the issue has on the government’s polling in the short to medium term, but the saga will no doubt force greater scrutiny regarding the allocation of grant funding by governments of all persuasions in the future.

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