Politics

People Are Furious At Scott Morrison For Denying Extra Support To Firefighters

He told reporters the volunteers firefighters "want to be there".

Scott Morrison firefighters bushfires

People are furious at Scott Morrison for denying extra support for firefighters battling our unprecedented bushfires, saying they “want to be there”

Australia’s Rural Fire Service is the world’s largest volunteer fire service, with more than 70,000 volunteers and around 900 paid staff.

Today bushfire smoke pushed Sydney’s air quality to more than 11 times the hazardous levels, yet when our PM called a press conference today, it was talk about the religious discrimination bill.

Keep in mind that Australia is in the middle of an unprecedented bushfire crisis that has burnt through two million hectares, destroyed more than 1,000 homes and killed six people — and it’s only expected to get worse.

ScoMo — or Smoko, as Twitter has renamed him — was asked how volunteers who have already been away from their jobs for weeks were expected to continue without pay.

In response, he told reporters they “want to be there”.

“The fact is these crews, yes, they’re tired, but they also want to be out there defending their communities,” Morrison said.

“We do all we can to rotate the shifts to give them those breaks but … in many cases you’ve got to hold them back to make sure they get that rest. And I thank them all for what they’re doing, particularly all those who support them.”

“The volunteer effort is a big part of our natural disaster response and it is a big part of how Australia has always dealt with these issues.”

He also rejected suggestions the federal government could be doing more, saying the relevant agencies were being directed to states and territories.

He did not address reports that RFS brigades were being forced to seek donations for water, food and sunscreen.

For anyone looking to help our volunteers firefighters, you can donate to the NSW Rural Fire Service here.