Prime Minister Scott Morrison apologises for causing “great anxiety” by vacationing during the worst wildfire crisis in history.
Mr Morrison returned from Hawaii yesterday as criticism of his mishandling of the disaster mounts.
Authorities report that one person was found dead on Saturday; and wildfires are raging in three states – bringing home a state of an emergency.
Since September, Australia’s bushfire have killed at least nine people, destroyed more than 700 homes and incinerated millions of hectares of farmlands.
“I get it that people would have been upset to know that I was holidaying with my family while their families were under great stress,” he said on Sunday.
Speaking after a briefing with fire officials, he said he knew Australians were anxious about the fires but insisted that the emergency response was “the best in the world”.
He conceded that climate change was contributing to changing weather patterns, but denied that it had directly caused Australia’s wildfires.
“It’s not a credible suggestion to make that link,” he argued.
The majority of Australians blame Scott Morrison’s government for inaction on global warming, with criticism growing as a heatwave broke records across the countryand worsened the fires.