Australian prime minister's approval rating slumps to 37 per cent after bushfires

14 Janvier, 2020, 18:24 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Morrison Ends Own Press Conference After Climate Q’s And Pressure On Fire Response

A new poll shows the popularity of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has declined sharply amid deepening anger at his government's handling of the bushfires that have killed 28 people, razed more than 11 million hectares of land and destroyed 2,000 homes in the country's east.

Asked whether it should be a Royal Commission, Morrison said: "I think that is what would be necessary and I will be taking a proposal through the Cabinet to that end, but it must be done with consultations with the states and territories".

In response to criticism of his government's actions on climate from former fire chiefs and others, Morrison has said that his government plans to "evolve" its climate policy and set more ambitious targets for reduction of carbon emissions.

Cooler weather conditions have brought a temporary respite for many of Australia's burning areas over the weekend, but a firefighter died on duty in Victoria, where new flames sparked and authorities said lives and homes are still under threat.

Betts said Australia was particularly vulnerable to fires since its land area had warmed by more than the rise in average global temperature of about 1 degree Celsius since pre-industrial times.

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Smoke again sheathed Sydney on Sunday, nearly a new normal for the country's biggest city, moving the air quality into hazardous territory, according to the NSW Department of Primary Industry index. "I want to do that with a balanced policy which recognises Australia's broader national economic interests and social interest".

While his office earlier on Sunday said that more mental health services will become available to the people affected by the fires, Morrison rejected criticism that his government had not done enough before the bushfire season started.

"There are things I could have handled on the ground much better", he said. He was overtaken by opposition Labor leader Anthony Albanese. "And nor should the need for national leadership".

Across New South Wales, 111 fires were still burning on Sunday, 40 of them not yet contained, but none at emergency level.

The forest fires now destroying Australia are "unprecedented" according to the analysis of the World Resources Institute, which discovered that there were approximately four times more fire alarms in 2019 than in any other year in the last two decades. "Fingers crossed", said the Service of NSW Rural Firefighters on Twitter.

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