Australian bushfires: how the Morrison government failed to heed warnings of catastrophe


Documents released under freedom of information show that despite warnings of dire fire risks, federal follow-up was sluggish

Scott Morrison’s decision to take a holiday in Hawaii as fires engulfed the east coast of Australia will go down as among the most unfortunate political missteps in recent history. The trip became emblematic of a federal government caught flat-footed for last summer’s unfolding bushfire catastrophe.

New documents, some released under freedom of information provisions, have shed more light on the government’s preparations for the bushfire season and response to it. The documents show that while some parts of the bureaucracy were aware by August that the country was facing a horror season, that urgency did not reach their political masters.

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Source: The Guardian - Natural disasters and extreme weather