The Project host Waleed Aly has condemned Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his response to the devastating New South Wales and Queensland floods.
Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, Waleed said ScoMo’s comment while touring flood-ravaged Lismore that it was “just an obvious fact that Australia is getting hard to live in because of these disasters” was an “astonishing admission”.
“It glosses over the decades we’ve wasted in this country disputing the reality of climate change,” Aly wrote.
“Here, Morrison is speaking an important truth. It’s just that it has come a decade late, and only once political realities had nudged the Coalition sufficiently that it felt compelled to adopt a net zero target.”
Aly argued that the comment captures the “most confounding quirk” of this government, which is not that “it is almost always wrong”.
“It’s that it is often right, but only after refusing to be for so long, and for no apparent reason,” he wrote.
Waleed believes the government’s actions over the past two years have exposed this trait, citing the slowness to build dedicated Covid-19 quarantine facilities and delays with the vaccine rollout.
“Now, Morrison’s big announcement is to declare the current floods in NSW and Queensland a national emergency, but to do it some nine days into the catastrophe,” he said.
“The Australian assumption is that when something’s important, government will be there to do what’s necessary. And what could be more important than a natural disaster? In a country like that, and in a moment like this, the things a government cannot be is sluggish or absent.”
During a tour of flood-ravaged Lismore, Scott Morrison was forced to defend his actions and the government’s lacklustre response.
He said, “What we’re dealing with here is an extraordinary event. Australia’s becoming a harder country to live in because of these natural disasters. It’s just an obvious fact.”
He added that the government recognises the impact of climate change on disasters and pointed to actions taken to address it.
Meanwhile, outside the press conference venue, protesters lined the street with placards calling for further climate action.
Image credits: Getty Images / The Project
This article first appeared on OverSixty.