THE member for Indi has used her speech on the summer's bushfire tragedy to call for the country to have its own aerial fire bombers and action on climate change.
Helen Haines made the pleas to federal parliament during a day dedicated to condolences for those who have died in the disaster.
She said Australia should not be relying on aircraft from North America to tackle blazes and more work to cut carbon output was needed.
"To do nothing from here is to sign up to a future where we lose more lives, our mental health suffers more, our small businesses will suffer more, our farms will suffer more, our once incredible natural environment will suffer more," Dr Haines said.
But in her speech on Wednesday Environment Minister and member for Farrer Sussan Ley said it was not the time to say what the government was doing.
"Today is a day to find some silent space amongst all these words, to put aside the petty toing and froing, the transactional bickering of our everyday lives, to give thanks for the people we love and the people who love us and above all recognise the unbearable loss being felt by those for whom we dedicate this condolence motion," Ms Ley said.
She said one of those was Cris McPaul, the mother of firefighter Sam McPaul who died near Talmalmo on December 30 while on a brigade truck.
Ms Ley said news of the death of Mr McPaul had moved her community's respect for firefighters into "a different zone".
"He was a young man from the tiny country community of Morven, 60 kilometres north of Albury in between Culcairn and Holbrook, hopping on the back of an RFS truck to help defend another small country community," she said.
Dr Haines also paid tribute to Mr McPaul and Forest Fire Management firefighters Mat Kavanagh and Bill Slade who died in Victoria last month.
Dr Haines also reflected on other effects of the fires, telling of speaking to a Corryong farming couple in a refuge hub who lost their home, and struggling businesses.
Honoured to join families of Geoff, Andrew & Sam at Parliament House Canberra today. PM @ScottMorrisonMP invited families of fire fighters tragically lost this season, for a Condolence Motion & Morning Tea.— Shane Fitzsimmons (@RFSCommissioner) February 4, 2020
Young Harvey just loved his Parliament House vegemite sandwich. #NSWRFSpic.twitter.com/uhZxYdrL4G
"Shane and Ashlee Laing run the cafe Teddy's Joint in Tallangatta," Dr Haines said.
"They've seen an 80 per cent drop in income since the onset of the fires in December.
"Teddy's Joint employs five people, so if they fall over, so do five jobs in a small town."