Scott Morrison, the Australian Prime Minister, began his tenure positively by creating political stability and enabling the passing of many crucial legislative reforms. However, the last few months have highlighted the failure of Scott Morrison as a Prime Minister. He has failed to act proactively, lacked any passion and has implored people to remain calm in a time when a degree of panic is necessary as lives are in danger.

The recurring theme of the Morrison government is the inadequacy of its responses to the big problems.

Droughts are significantly affecting rural Australia, leading to considerable water restrictions beginning to take place. Farmers are struggling to survive, and the local flora and fauna are suffering. The Nationals broke ranks to demand action on the worsening crisis, contrasting Morrison’s well-publicised visits to demonstrate concern for farmers on drought-scarred land. Morrison dispelled any issues raised by the Nationals and continued with his catchy slogan that we should all stop panicking. Scott Morrison, it is time to panic. The drought is killing rural Australia, and we must panic but use that adrenaline to respond to issues in our nation proactively.

The recent fires have resulted in Morrison calling for calm and for politicians to “take it down a few notches.” Morrison demanded an end to the bickering over bushfires and climate change after a dramatic escalation in the political attacks when Greens senator Jordon Steele-John accused the two major parties of being “no better than a bunch of arsonists.” Steele-John intensified claims that the Coalition and Labor were responsible for increasing the risk of catastrophic bushfires through their policies on climate change. The prime minister stated that during an emergency, the focus should be upon helping people in need than debating controversial issues.

To this, I agree. However, we still have not witnessed any proactive action from Mr Morrison or even comments about possibly introducing new legislative reforms. An 18-year-old who lost her home in the fires urged the federal government to take urgent action on climate change. She outlines her anger at the government for not addressing the climate crisis, leaving her community helpless to the bushfires. Her powerful statement highlighted the passive nature of the prime minister. She stated: “We thank you for your thoughts and prayers prime minister, but we need action.’ Scott Morrison, it is time to panic. The fires are destroying homes, families, the environment, and we must be stressed, but use that concern as the impetus to create tangible change.

Scott Morrison is not responsible for creating the drought or New South Wales bushfires. He is not responsible for climate change or the decrease in national productivity. However, he wanted to be prime minister, and that makes him responsible for the responses to all of these problems. They are big problems, immense in some cases, and they are hard. Denial, talking points, passivity and attacks on the opposition will not solve any of them.

Mr Morrison, as Parliament closes for the year, the decision is all yours. Will you continue to lead as a passive prime minister, having no impact on society, or will you step up, take action, and proactively lead our nation into the 2020s.

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