Chief Minister Andrew Barr has criticised the scope of Scott Morrison's proposed royal commission into the summer bushfire crisis, saying it overlooks the role that cutting carbon emissions plays in combating climate change and future fire threats.
How the Prime Minister responds to Mr Barr's concerns will determine if the ACT supports the national inquiry.
Mr Barr wrote to the Prime Minister on Tuesday with his feedback on draft terms of reference for the royal commission into the bushfire disaster.
The Chief Minister wants a national inquiry into the horror fire season, but has repeatedly said that any review would be inadequate unless it thoroughly examines the effect climate change has had on the length and ferocity of bushfire seasons.
The proposed royal commission would acknowledge that global climate change poses risks for the Australian environment, and the country's ability to prevent and respond to natural disasters.
It would, according to the draft terms of reference, examine how Australia was adapting to a changing climate, and what measures should be taken to mitigate the impact of natural disasters.
But that doesn't go far enough, according to Mr Barr.
In his letter to Mr Morrison, the ACT Chief Minister said the inquiry also needed to look at strategies to tackle climate change, such as cutting carbon emissions.
Omitting climate change mitigation from the scope of the royal commission overlooks one of the key national drivers in determining the frequency and severity of future natural disasters.Chief Minister Andrew Barr
"As it currently stands, the [draft terms of reference] ignores the important role that Australia must play in reducing global emissions to minimise the extent of climate change and its potential impact on the Australian community," he said.
"Omitting climate change mitigation from the scope of the royal commission overlooks one of the key national drivers in determining the frequency and severity of future natural disasters."
Asked if the ACT would support the royal commission in its current form, Mr Barr's spokeswoman said it would await Mr Morrison's response to the issues raised before making a final decision. The spokeswoman said she understood that other states held similar concerns.
Mr Barr's comments reflect those made by the coalition of former emergency services chiefs, who have warned Mr Morrison that any bushfire inquiry which didn't put climate change at the forefront would "fail at the first step".
Mr Morrison last week said that his inquiry would look at the effects of climate change, but that it wouldn't be a "confined, narrow debate" on carbon emissions. The Prime Minister wants the inquiry to focus on what he describes as "practical" measures to address bushfire risks, such as hazard-reduction burning.
When asked if it would heed Mr Barr's advice and expand the royal commission's terms of reference, the Prime Minister's office referred The Canberra Times back to Mr Morrison's comments from last week.
The inquiry would also examine whether the Commonwealth should be able to declare a state of national emergency, any if the federal government should have "clearer authority" to deploy the military in response to unfolding disasters.
In his feedback to the Prime Minister, Mr Barr said the royal commission should also look at when states and territories should be able to call on the Commonwealth for support.
"The ACT considers that current mechanisms and criteria to request national involvement in emergencies is unclear and should be reviewed, given the frequency of future natural disasters is likely to be higher," he said.
Mr Barr supports a quick inquiry, but conceded in his letter to Mr Morrison that it would be "challenging" to meet a proposed August deadline, as "communities and workers are still fighting fires or beginning their recovery".
The ACT government would support a royal commission which tabled draft recommendations in August, before publishing a final report in late 2020.