Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has expressed his regret regarding the fires currently spreading through the country in a recent interview.
He said that he would call for a high degree of government inquiry as a response to the devastating fires that cover the country. The implied inquiry, which Mr. Morrison suggested during an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, came after a firefighter had died in the state of Victoria, where the most damaging fires are currently sweeping since October. At least 28 people have been killed in the fires until now.
Mr. Morrison and his government have been greatly condemned over their response to the devastating crisis. The suggested inquiry, also known as a royal commission, would analyze that response, including the use of emergency services to put off the blazes that crossed the borders of the state, expanded across mountain ranges, and made thousands of people evacuate their homes.
The Response Given by the Government
This fire season has been the most disastrous in Australia’s recorded background, destroying millions of acres of land and more than 3,000 homes. The number of wild animals killed has been estimated to be more than half a billion and rising.
Mr. Morrison has not considered important changes to rules in renewable energy, fossil fuels, and coal. The mining and export of coal are main factors in Australia’s economy, and the prime minister has noted that he would not allow people to risk losing their jobs or raise taxes in the quest for lower carbon emissions.
The state representative said that the country’s ‘new normal’ was an altering climate that would ask for the adoption of better measures for disaster control and relief.
“These are the areas of climate change action that I think need greater attention because they’re the things that are practically affecting people’s daily lives here in Australia, where we can do practical things that will make us more resilient and ensure that we’re safer,” he said.
“It isn’t just restricted to bush fires,” he said. “It deals with floods. It deals with cyclones. It deals with the drought, which is affected by these broader issues. Adaptation and resilience are key to that. Building dams is key to that. Native vegetation management is key to that. Land clearing is key to that. Where you can build homes is key to that. And that is as much a climate change response as emissions reduction,” he said.
The Royal Commission is a Diversion
Some people said that the royal commission, which can need a year or more to complete, is usually seen as a way for the government to postpone important actions on a discordant matter.
“It’s a fob-off — they always are,” said John Blaxland, a professor at the Australian National University in Canberra. “They give you a good 18 months of political grace for the issue to die down politically and then shelve it when it comes out.”
Irrelevant to people’s opinions of Mr. Morrison, a recent rule change with his conservative Liberal Party signifies the fact that he will most definitely remain prime minister for the following two and half years, Blaxland said. Considering the ongoing disaster, professor Blaxland said that Australians have to rise above politics.
“Our circumstances are so dire, we can’t afford to just continue to bicker,” he said. “We have this cavalier approach to our security that’s fostered and bred a political narcissism that we can no longer afford. We’ve got to rise above our petty differences and come up with solutions, not just for the next election but for our grandkids.”