28th Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum

13-16 January 2020, Australia

APPF28 going ahead but affected by bushfire situation

Delegates will be aware of the unprecedented bushfire situation in south eastern Australia. This message is to alert you to the potential impact of the fires so that you can consider your plans to attend the 28th annual meeting of the APPF in light of the situation.

Specific advice about weather conditions for 13-16 January 2020 is uncertain, but information on current conditions, as well as links to more detailed information, follows.

Smoke from fires in nearby regions has had a serious effect on outdoor air quality in Canberra, as well as intermittent effects on visibility and air travel.

There is also a clear presence of smoke and the strong smell of smoke in buildings such as cultural institutions and shops.

ACT Health advises on the recommended particulate load for smoke in the air (see chart and advice on vulnerability to smoke and heat). The level for the external environment in Canberra today, Wednesday 8 January, is ‘hazardous’. 

The venue for APPF meetings, Parliament House, has been monitored for the quality of air. While smoke from the fires has had some impact, filtering is effective at this stage and the facility remains open to the public and staff working in the building. Accommodation and meeting arrangements are in central areas of the city. The ACT Emergency Service Agency has current information on the situation.

The weather forecast for Canberra in coming days is for warm to hot weather.

At present there are no bushfires in the Australian Capital Territory but there are active fires in nearby regions.

During the meeting, conditions will be monitored and measures taken to ensure that that risk from poor air quality or other factors is avoided as far as possible. Of course, should fire threaten nearby, the meeting will be cancelled.

We regret the need to inform you about the impact of the bushfire situation on plans for the meeting. Delegates who are able to attend the meeting can be assured of a sincere welcome even if there are some amendments to arrangements, for example, by avoiding outdoor activities.

The Speaker of the House and Australian delegates look forward to welcoming you to Canberra.

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