‘Excuse me, I can’t breathe’: Furious Aussies blast PM
Angry Australians have lashed out at Scott Morrison for holding a press conference on his religious freedom bill instead of giving more attention to the bushfire crisis that has seen Sydney smothered in smoke today.
Mr Morrison released the second version of the religious freedom bill this morning and held a press conference to announce the 11 major changes that have been made to the draft legislation.
The second version of the draft comes as Sydney experiences horrific smoky conditions from massive bushfires burning on the city's outskirts, with some areas reaching 11 times hazardous levels.
Some on social media claimed the prime minister was ignoring the bushfire crisis by making the decision to focus on the religious freedom bill.
"Scott Morrison thinks it's more important to discuss a religious freedom bill while NSW burns to the ground," one Twitter user said.
"@ScottMorrisonMP the country is literally on fire; nobody cares about the religious freedom bill right now. Stop being so cooked all the time," another said.
Would I be too cynical to suggest that @ScottMorrisonMP is doing media on the religious freedom bill and NZ volcano to keep the press from focusing on the real disaster that is #sydneysmoke #AustraliaBurns #ClimateChangeIsReal ?? #auspol— Be Noble (@benoblepr) December 10, 2019
Sydney Harbour, tourism magnet and one of nature’s great delights, choking under a smoke blanket.— Francis Leach (@SaintFrankly) December 10, 2019
But hey, how good is stumping up to talk about religious freedom of expression laws @ScottMorrisonMP ?!?
This PM has his finger on the pulse, doesn’t he? https://t.co/mh7vbUYrKP
One person wrote: "While the nation roasts and burns @ScottMorrisonMP holds a press conference to discuss … 'religious freedom' laws. No mention whatsoever of months of fires, smoke, health concerns, loss of life, destruction of 700 homes. What the bloody hell is wrong with this bloke?"
Another simply added: "Excuse me @ScottMorrisonMP I can't breathe."
When asked about the bushfires today Mr Morrison said defence force personnel were helping with airlifts, surveillance and clearing areas.
"They are doing their job, the firefighters are doing their job," he said.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese and former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull have called for a national approach to fighting and preventing bushfires. But Mr Morrison says there is already a nationally coordinated effort.
"The highly coordinated nature of how our state and territory jurisdictions work together during these bushfires has been an inspiration," he said.
Mr Morrison has also been called out for his response in the wake of the deadly volcanic eruption in New Zealand.
At least three Australians are thought to have been killed when the White Island volcano erupted on Monday afternoon, with more still missing.
Mr Morrison held a press conference this morning and offered his support to New Zealand on Twitter.
"I have been in touch with @jacindaardern to offer our full support with whatever they need and our authorities are working closely together," he wrote.
"I will be staying in direct contact as events continue to unfold. We will provide updates once they are confirmed and are available."
However the prime minister was again attacked on social media, because some thought he should be offering that level of support to those battling the bushfires.
"You have the greatest tragedy occurring under your nose, loss of property, natural habitat & whole animal species decimated & you have the gall to be commenting about what's going on in New Zealand? Where is your sense of urgency empathy and leadership at home? Disgusting!" one Twitter user said.
"Okay. So about you now concentrate on our disaster? Talk to the experts, listen to them, do as they suggest. Just like NZ is listening to the experts. Show that those empathy lessons worked and talk to victims of the fire. Give fire services what they need," another said.
Whilst this is a tragedy and I most certainly hope everyone concerned are safe. You sir are an abomination. I don’t understand how you can run for Prime Minister of a country you supposedly love yet appear to not give a damn it or its people 🤬 Shame on you Mr Morrison!— Kristen North (@KristenNorth11) December 9, 2019
This disaster in NZ is dreadful.— 💧🌱Dr Josie McSkimming 🌸🐧🐦🌳🌈🌿🕸🦋 (@JosieMcskimming) December 9, 2019
But we have a WHOLE STATE of Aust where millions of people are struggling to breathe, save lives, save houses, save bushland. Millions of birds & animals incinerated. Extinction predicted.
Hearing from the PM may just help people...maybe not 😔
Amazing how you can claim to show compassion for those affected by this NZ volcanic tragedy but resolutely ignore the climate change-induced catastrophes brewing on your own doorstep. Stop this cognitive dissonance & do something for the country you supposedly serve.— Ian S. Hainsworth (@AugustVonGrogg) December 10, 2019