Dirty Politics: Dust Storms Strike Canberra As Parliament Resumes

One day into the new Parliamentary year and the nation's capital is already dirty.

But for once, it's the dirt outside Parliament House which is making news.

On a day when it was freezing in Melbourne and scorching in Sydney, winds between the two weather systems were extreme, especially in Canberra.

Strong winds hovering around 60-70 km/h all day in Canberra after a long hot summer meant only one thing: raised dust.

The ACT government issued a public health alert on Tuesday afternoon, warning that that the dust storm would likely continue into Tuesday evening, with dust particles reducing the air quality.

ACT emergency services are also attending to numerous reports of fallen trees, with power lines also down in some areas.

READ MORE: Gale Of Two Cities: It's 36 In Sydney While A Cold Snap Brings Winter To Melbourne

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for people in the Snowy Mountains, Australian Capital Territory, Southern Tablelands and South West Slopes forecast districts.

Fire weather warnings are also in place.