“I understand the frustration, I understand the anxiety, I understand the fear,” he said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has defended the federal government’s role in the response to the ongoing bushfire crisis.In a press conference this afternoon, he said a “coordinated response” was what was needed, at the same time calling for “patience” from disaster-hit Australians.”What we won’t allow to happen is for governments to be tripping over each other in order to somehow outbid each other in response,” he said.
He said the deployment of members of the Australian Defence Force to fire-affected regions, and the commitment to compensation for volunteer firefighters, showed the federal role in the ongoing emergency.While further Defence Force assets were available, none had been so far requested by the affected states, despite food, water and fuel running critically low in some areas.But he emphasised that each level of government had its responsibilities.”I understand the frustration, I understand the anxiety, I understand the fear,” he said.
“But what I also understand is the need to allow the professionals and experts who plan and then operationalise these responses to do their job and to give them every support and every resource, from the prime minister, to the premier, to the mayor.”Mr Morrison praised the efforts of firefighters and emergency services, saying without them the loss of life and property could have been much higher.
And he urged Australians to have patience, days after some of their homes burned.”My simple request is to be patient, to have confidence in the state agencies,” he said.”What we are saying is we cannot control the natural disaster but what we can do is control our response.”He urged people to listen to warnings from authorities.”If you are in a position where you can get yourself to safety, please do that and follow the instructions that are available to you,” he said.”If you are in a position where you have to hold and wait, then know that there is support that will get to you. It is already on its way.”Mr Morrison also said $21m in disaster payments has been triggered by the bushfire crisis in NSW, with many more to come from Victoria.Adults can claim $1000 and children $400 in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.He said he is also discussing help for small businesses which is on offer in local government areas.”Making sure that support flows quickly and effectively is so important to get the recovery effort up and running after these fires,” he said.
Source ; News Agencies