New Year’s Eve fireworks displays went ahead around Australia despite calls to cancel festivities during the bushfire crisis. And Australian PM, Scott Morrison said there’s “no better place to raise kids” than Australia in his New Year message, but it’s been contrasted with images from the fires.
His celebratory address came as photos and videos of fires gripping the nation depicted children forced to flee their homes and stand in the sea to keep safe. Others were seen playing while wearing gas masks.
On the other side Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews summed it up as “a tough start to 2020“.
The defining images of Australia's decade. pic.twitter.com/nxd3vLam7d— 🔥💧🌱Mif_asks_why (@MifWhy) December 31, 2019
According to BBC bushfires have killed at least eight people in south-eastern Australia since Monday.The latest fires, which raced towards the coast this week, have also destroyed more than 200 homes.
School Strike for Climate – environmental group inspired by Greta Thunberg – wrote in a Tweet: “Scott Morrison says there is ‘No better place to raise kids’ than Australia. Has he stepped outside recently?”
Aaron Hawkins, the mayor of Dunedin, New Zealand which has seen skies turn yellow from the smoke pouring across the ocean some 2,000km away, compared the Australian PM to Nero – who was notoriously said to have “fiddled while Rome burned”.
Do Australia’s politicians feel that children should be huddled in cars fearing for their lives at all times?— Extinction Rebellion Australia (@XRebellionAus) December 31, 2019
It’s 2020. The time to act on climate is now.
#ExtinctionRebellion #auspol pic.twitter.com/wBczdwp0lk
Does anyone know who the current Minister for sport is - you would have thought during times of such great national disaster and tragedy Scott Morrison would have no time for NYE parties or photo ops.— 💧 Sleeping Giants Oz 📣 (@slpng_giants_oz) January 1, 2020
Is the Prime Minister of Australia star struck by celebrity#Auspol pic.twitter.com/DJy9OinASJ
The crew from Fire and Rescue NSW Station 509 Wyoming recorded this video showing the moment their truck was overrun by the bushfire burning South of Nowra. The crew was forced to shelter in their truck as the fire front passed through. #NSWFires #ProtectTheIrreplaceable pic.twitter.com/Hb0yVrefi9— Fire and Rescue NSW (@FRNSW) December 31, 2019
Australia's Prime Minister, treating a fire survivor like a warm prop for a photo op... walks away so she can be manhandled when she speaks her own lines https://t.co/PSpZm1Y3do— David Pope (@davpope) January 2, 2020
Please share widely. Conditions are predicted to worsen on the Sth Coast. It is not safe. @ScottMorrisonMP you need to declare a #NationalEmergency and make sure these communities, and all those at risk around Australia, are being protected. It is not business as usual. #auspol https://t.co/ugru2rewBu— 🌏 Zali Steggall MP (@zalisteggall) January 1, 2020