NATIONAL FIRE DISASTER:
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has reacted angrily to growing criticisms that the $2 billion fire recovery fund he announced yesterday would be administered by the Liberal Party’s federal treasurer.
“No-one manages money better than the Liberals,” the PM scoffed at reporter suggestions that the decision might have poor political optics.
“Naturally, a small percentage of the funds will be retained by the Liberal Party as commission and to defray “just a small proportion of the amount the Liberal Party has already incurred on behalf of the Australian people in dealing with this national fire emergency”.
“As you would all know from the online Liberal Party video I put out recently, the Liberal Party has already stumped up enormous costs on behalf of the Australian people and I know they are grateful for that,” Mr Morrison said.
“I didn’t use ‘we’ve’ over and over again by accident. We’ve already handed out hundreds of thousands of free face masks (pictured at top) and they don’t come cheap I can tell you.
“We’ve paid for navy vessels (also pictured at top) to help evacuate fire victims on Victoria and New South Wales, and we’ve paid for RAAF planes and helicopters to help as well where they can.
“And of course we’ve stumped up the cost of three thousand army reservists who are now on the ground helping with cleanup and recovery efforts (pictured at top).
“These are just some of the measures we’ve taken as the natural party of government but we’re not made of money, you know.
“If the government had paid for all those things, I would have said so in the video.
“Give credit where credit’s due, I say, and I’d be mortified if people thought the government paid for all those things.
“No, it’s the Liberal Party that stepped up and opened its wallet because it knows the LNP government wants to honour its election commitment and deliver that promised surplus.
“The Liberals have done all this. Please trust me on this. Why would I lie to you?”
Mr Morrison said former Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin had been appointed to help the Liberal Party’s federal treasurer and “money is already flowing to where it’s needed most”.
“Sizable amounts have already been sent to authorities in the federal Tasmanian electorates of Bass and Braddon where serious threats still exist on their left flanks.”
Quizzed by journalists who pointed out that no major fire threats currently existed in Bass and Braddon and that both electorates were reclaimed by the Liberal Party at the 2019 election, Mr Morrison said: “You’ve got to trust me when I say the decision to help those areas financially was made entirely separate from that.
“Prevention is always better than a cure when dealing with fires, be they natural or political, and that’s all we’re doing there.
“Please trust me on that. Why would I lie to you?”