Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned that the crisis due to catastrophic bushfires are not over and might go on for months. Speaking to reporters on January 5, Morrison said that Tasmania and Victoria witness more difficult season in January and February so there is still a long way to go. “And sadly there will still be more cost that will be incurred as a result of the devastating impacts,” said the Prime Minister.
Morrison has been facing the heat for not doing enough to control the bushfire which has claimed at least 24 lives since September. He was also criticised for spending time in Hawaii with his family for holidays while firefighters were facing severe challenges to douse the deadly fire.
The Australian Prime Minister has announced the establishment of a national bushfire recovery fund with an initial $2 billion. The fund will be used to coordinate a national response to rebuild communities and livelihoods in the aftermath of a catastrophic bushfire. Morrison said that the initial fund is to ensure support to families, farmers and business owners hit by bushfires.
“It’s a long road ahead and we will be with these communities every step of the way as they rebuild,” said Morrison. “The agency will ensure the work of state and territory governments is being supported and act as a ‘one stop shop’ central team to coordinate the response. We will do whatever it takes,” said the Prime Minister in a statement.
Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management suggested a localised solution to prevent bushfires in areas like Kangaroo Island, Mallacoota, and Stanfield. David Littleproud said that there is a need to get the local communities back on their feet, adding that huge numbers of native species have been lost in the fire.
“So I say to every Australian, you must have your plan, you must enact on that plan, you must listen to those brave men and women, those emergency service personnel when they give you direction,” urged the minister.