MP defends PM’s holiday amid bushfire crisis
THE Minister for Natural Disasters has defended Prime Minister Scott Morrison's decision to take holidays as the nation continues to suffer from an unprecedented bushfire emergency.
Yesterday, two New South Wales Rural Fire Service volunteers died while fighting fires near Bargo, southwest of Sydney.
David Littleproud, in Ipswich earlier today, said Mr Morrison had expressed regret over his holiday, and that he had been making arrangements to return home.
"He's expressed regret if it's caused anyone any anxiety or any upset by it," Mr Littleproud said.
"Obviously these events continue to escalate … But he's coming back and the role he'll be able to play is around that emotional support.
"As Prime Minister he'll be able to reach out to those volunteers and those people who have been personally impacted.
"He's made it clear he's making arrangements to get home as soon as possible to ensure he shows that leadership."
Currently, hundreds of fires are continuing to burn across the country, as heat records continue to be broken.
"It has escalated, we didn't anticipate this," Mr Littleproud said.
"The Prime Minister and I have been communicating to make sure he was fully aware … as it's escalated he was more aware of it before me."
"As the Prime Minister has clearly said, he had a long standing arrangement to go on leave for this period of time, and as this event has escalated, he's taken steps to come home and to be with the nation and provide emotional support."