Australian leader admits he could have handled bushfires 'much better'

Cheryl Sanders
January 13, 2020

"We have heard the loud and clear message of the Australian people", Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Monday when asked about the outcome of the survey by announcing a wildlife protection fund of 50 million Australian dollars.

"They want to see a federal government adopt a very direct response to these natural and national disasters", said Frydenberg.

Approval for Mr Morrison tumbled from 45 to 37 per cent, while Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese's rating leapt from 40 to 46 per cent.

The prime minister acknowledged the role of climate change. Temperatures in parts of New South Wales and Victoria have also spiked above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

"If this BOM (Bureau of Metereology) rain forecast comes to fruition, then it will be all of our Christmas, birthday, engagement, anniversary, wedding and graduation gifts, all in one".

Despite cooler weather and rainfall providing some relief in some bushfire-affected areas this week, nearly 150 fires were still burning in worst-hit New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, the huge continent's most populated regions.

On Kangaroo Island in South Australia, the town of Kingscote has been cut off by the fires.

-The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) said on Monday bushfire victims can submit damaged banknote claims to redeem their lost money.

Since October, at least 26 people have been killed in Australia and thousands subjected to repeat evacuations as huge and unpredictable fires scorched an area roughly the size of South Korea.

NSW announced on Thursday it would spend Aus$1.2 billion (US$680 million) on restoring infrastructure in fire-ravaged areas. They do not pose a threat, authorities say, despite being in an area hard to reach.

-The government said on Sunday it would provide A$76 million ($52 million) for mental health counseling and healthcare consultations to firefighters, emergency workers, individuals and communities.

He signaled the possibility of reducing Australia's climate emissions target, saying that the government and cabinet "will continue to evolve our policies to meet our targets and to beat them".

"Any talk about polling figures or popularity is just ludicrous at a time when we need to be fighting fires, saving lives and property and starting a recovery process in the towns affected", he said.

The Forest Fire Management Victoria firefighter from Parks Victoria died while battling a blaze in the Omea area on Saturday.

Other reports by iNewsToday