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Ex-PM Malcolm Turnbull says he “can’t explain” ScoMo’s decision to go to Hawaii

Ex-PM Malcolm Turnbull says he “can’t explain” ScoMo’s decision to go to Hawaii

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has accused the current Prime Minister of “downplaying” the risk of the bushfire crisis in a brutal new interview with the BBC.

The former Liberal prime minister said that “everybody knew” Australia was tinder dry last year and that Morrison should have done more to prepare the country for the horrific bushfire season.

“I do not know why Scott Morrison has acted the way he has. I mean to be very frank with you, I worked with him very closely, I’ve known him for 20 years at least, and I can’t explain his conduct,” he said.

 “I can’t explain why he didn’t meet the former fire commissioners who wanted to see him in March last year to talk about the gravity of the threat.

“Everybody knew we were in a very dry time and as a consequence the fire season was likely to be very bad. So rather than doing what a leader should do and preparing people for that, he downplayed it and then of course chose to go away on holiday in Hawaii at the peak of the crisis.

“It’s just not consistent with the way in which a Prime Minister would or should act in a national crisis like this.”

Despite Morrison apologising for causing “great anxiety” to the Australian public, Turnbull has said that climate change denial is rampant throughout Australia and blames Tony Abbott.

“How many more coral reefs have to be bleached? How many more million hectares of forest has to be burnt? How many more lives and homes have to be lost before the climate change deniers acknowledge they are wrong?” Turnbull questioned.

“If a country like Australia is not prepared to grapple with these issues seriously - itself being on the front line of the consequences and being an advanced, prosperous, technologically sophisticated country with the means to do so - why would other countries take the issue as seriously as they should?”

Turnbull then took aim at US President Donald Trump, saying he is playing a “destructive role”.

"Trump is playing a very destructive role in terms of climate action. Trump makes no bones about it. He says global warming is rubbish," Mr Turnbull said.

"Trump is trying to put a brake on global action to reduce emissions. The lack of American leadership is extremely damaging."