The challenge posed by the nation’s bushfire crisis will remain into the new year, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison says everyone can take comfort in the “amazing spirit of Australians”.
In a New Year’s message, Mr Morrison said he wished he had better news to share heading into 2020 with fires continuing to rage across several states.
“The nature of the challenge is great and so in the days and weeks and months ahead I fear it will continue to be difficult,” he said.
“I wish we had better news on New Year’s Eve.
“But one news we can always take comfort in is the amazing spirit of Australians.
“We have faced these disasters before and we have prevailed, we have overcome.
“That is the spirit of Australians, that is the spirit that is on display, that is a spirit that we can celebrate as Australians.
“That’s what we can take comfort in, each other and the amazing country in which we are blessed to live.”
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said he hoped the new year would bring relief for everyone dealing with the “harsh reality” of the bushfire crisis.
“I hope it gets easier for our brave firefighters, who have been putting themselves in harm’s way for so many months now,” he said.
“We think of those who lost their lives and their loved ones.
“We think of everyone who has lost their homes and we also think of everyone who will be working through this festive season.”
Mr Albanese said he also hoped that for everyone doing it tough, the new year would bring better times.
“May 2020 bring you and your loved ones health, happiness and all that you hope for,” he said.