Scomo has visited the flood devastated town of Lismore in northern NSW, where he has stated that the ADF is not available on a moments notice as he defended the speed of his government’s response.
Prior to his arrival in Lismore the federal government declared a national emergency around the floods, giving the Commonwealth government greater power to send in ADF personnel and reduce “red tape” to get financial support out more rapidly.
The question needs to be asked though, what took the PM so long to declare the national emergency, as there is a $4.7 billion disaster relief fund set aside for exactly this type of situation, which remains mainly untouched.
One potential explanation as to the delay in response from the federal government would be that they need to receive requests from the state governments for assistance, however this hadn’t happened at this stage. This is one potential explanation as to the delay in assisting those in flood ravaged regions of the east coast.
One thing I will say is that Scomo’s current behaviour demonstrates an inability to lead the country during a national crisis.