Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called for Australians to be patient during the bushfires gripping the country.
“My simple request is to be patient, to have confidence in the state agencies,” Mr Morrison told media in Sydney on Thursday.
“I understand the anxiety and I understand the fear that is there for many and I understand the frustration, but this is a natural disaster.”
Mr Morrison pointed to the federal government’s existing efforts, including disaster relief payments and deploying defence personnel, as the action it was taking to help during the fires.
“What you cannot have in these situations is governments stepping over the top of each other in responding to a natural disaster like this,” he said.
“What we are saying is we cannot control the natural disaster but what we can do is control our response.”
He said Australians needed to be patient and calm in bushfire areas to help those fighting the blazes.
Mr Morrison also defended the federal government’s climate change policies and said there were many contributing factors to the bushfires.
“The drought has created a tinderbox around the country and that has, through various forms of ignition, has seen these fires run for long periods of time.”
He said no single climate policy would create an insurance against bushfires and the government was working on beating its carbon emissions targets.