Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has finally admitted he made mistakes in his handling of the Australian bush fires that has ravaged the country’s wildlife and rendered lots of Australians homeless, amid criticism of his interactions with members of fire-ravaged communities and his administrations’ inaction over climate change.
Morrison also faced heavy criticism for taking a pre-Christmas family holiday in Hawaii during the wildfires– something he cut short to return and deal with the fire crisis after he was heavily criticized by Australians, with some saying they won’t vote for him in the next election.
In an interview with the ABC’s Insiders host, David Speers, Morrison said the fires had made his government “think a little harder” on how to provide comfort to the victims of the wildfires.\
In his ABC interview that aired Sunday, the Prime Minister spoke of his Government’s climate policies continuing to “evolve”. but he refused to rule out increasing Australia’s target to reduce emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030 under the Paris Agreement.
“Prime ministers are flesh and blood too in how they engage with these people,” he said, referring to people who live in the affected areas.
“When I went there, I went there in good faith with [wife] Jenny on occasions, to provide what consolation I could.
“They’re very strained environments … you would do things differently and learn from every event but the important thing is the actions we have taken.”
He also said he will take a proposal to establish a royal commission that will look into the bushfire disaster.
“I think that is what would be necessary, and I will be taking a proposal through Cabinet to that end,” the Prime Minister told Speers.
“But it must be done in consultation with the states and territories.”
”We want to reduce emissions and do the best job we possibly can and get better and better and better at it,” he said.
“I want to do that with a balanced policy, which recognises Australia’s broader national economic interests and social interest.”
“In hindsight, I would not have taken that trip (to Hawaii) knowing what I know now,”