'Be patient': Scott Morrison fronts media over bushfires
Scott Morrison has flagged a major rewrite to rules covering hazard reduction, land clearing and where homes can be built following the devastating fires that have ravaged Australia since September.
Speaking to the media in Sydney today the Prime Minister specifically linked climate change and the requirement for reforms.
Mr Morrison said there was "a need to address issues around hazard reduction for national parks, dealing with land clearing laws, zoning laws and planning laws around people's properties and where they can be built in countries like Australia, up and down the coast".
"That being the case with the climatic effects of what we are seeing, there are many restrictions around those effects that have to be reviewed on the basis on the broader climatic effect we are seeing in this country," Mr Morrison said.
The PM said there were "many contributing factors" to the fire season, none more significant than the drought which had "created a tinderbox around the country" and seen "these fires run for long periods of time, particularly when there is no dousing rain that has normally followed."
The issue of "fuel loads" was also "very clear", Mr Morrison said.
"That has been a constant source of feedback by those on the ground," he said.
"Issues in national parks and issues of hazard reduction and how that has worked over a period of time, that needs to be looked at undoubtedly."
Mr Morrison also urged Australians to be "patient" during the crisis.
"What we are saying is we cannot control the natural disaster but what we can do is control our response," he said.
"What we can do is support those who are out there putting themselves at risk by showing the patience and the calm that is necessary".
He also said the National Security Committee of Cabinet would meet next week to address "contingencies" that needed to be met to get through the rest of the fire season.