Australian Government Combats Fires

During a time of national tragedy, the Australian Government has been forced into action.

The fires are not only destroying infrastructure, but nature as well. According to CNN, about 18 million acres of land have burned.

Walker Winkler

The fires are not only destroying infrastructure, but nature as well. According to CNN, about 18 million acres of land have burned.

Since September, Australia has had multiple fires burning. An estimated 15.6 million acres have burned and an estimated 1 billion animals have been killed. In addition, air quality throughout the country has become toxic. 

“The air quality has deteriorated severely; medical professionals have advised not to exercise outdoors, or undertake any strenuous outdoor labour,” Australian citizen Glenn Mikoska said in an email reponse. 

As a result, volunteers, firefighters and the Australian Defense Force and Navy have been fighting the fires and assisting with evacuations. Despite their efforts, there have been complaints about the Australian government not taking enough action. 

According to Brandi Wiekle of CBC, both Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the state government of New South Wales, which has been the most affected region, have been criticized for heavily relying on volunteer firefighters.  

Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia, has been specifically targeted for his response to the national emergency. When the fires first broke out, he took a family vacation to Hawaii and many people felt as though he was running away from his responsibilities. 

According to Rod McGuirk of the Associated Press, Morrison has been cursed and jeered out of towns during visits. Furthermore, he has been insulted and scrutinized by people around the world for his dismissive response. 

However, some believe that Morrison and the government are doing enough. Glenn Mikoska believes that the government has been adequate with both assisting the people and combating the fires. He also said that evacuation centers are being controlled by the government and the state and federal governments have worked well together. 

“In my opinion, the Australian Federal government has taken enough action… the Australian government has released Defence personal to help evacuate and also assist in preparing to fight fires in areas and towns, [and it has] been pro-active,” Mikoska said.

As the country burns, so does Scott Morrison’s reputation. Although some believe the government and Prime Minister have done enough, the unhappiness of others has caused Morrison to apologize for his actions and promise to improve in the future.