Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that a six month Royal Commission would investigate future preparedness for bushfires and the need for any changes to the law. Morrison while talking to the media said that the Royal Commission will look into practical things that must be done to keep Australians safe for longer in hot dry summers and the commission will also clear as to who will be responsible for overseeing emergency authorities.
Australia suffered from a three-month-long raging bushfire that is still ablaze in some parts of the country. The wide-ranging inquiry ordered by the Prime Minister comes in the aftermath of the disaster that killed 33 people and destroyed over 3,000 homes. The bushfire that started in September last year was contained just days ago in Sydney's New South Wales region. As per reports, the bushfire had raised 10 million hectares of land in Australia that is an area equivalent to the landmass of South Korea.
While experts recognised that the bushfire was directly connected to global warming and other climate-related issues, Australia's right-wing Prime Minister was criticised for refusing to link the wildfire with climate change. Scott Morrison also faced backlash in November last year after he went to Hawaii for a holiday with family while Australia was burning back home. Morrison had to issue a public apology after he returned from the American islands. Rains brought in some relief to Australians when it lashed down on several parts of the country earlier this month.
According to Steven Selwood of South Australia Veterinary Emergency Management, there are only 9,000 koalas that remain out of the 46,000 that were thought to be on Kangaroo Island before this season's bushfire. Some experts estimate that around 80 per cent of Koala habitat has been wiped out since the deadly fire started down under. Koalas are already listed as vulnerable but conservationists and environmentalists believe that they should be now categorised as endangered.