Scott Morrison is being accused of keeping information about high-risk weather from the Australian public. Yep, the guy who flew to Hawaii in the middle of a deadly bushfire season is apparently back at it again!
According to South Australian senator Rex Patrick, Morrison has kept details about high-risk weather events forecast for this summer a secret.
Basically, the Bureau of Meteorology’s director general Joe Buffone gave a briefing about Australia’s 2021-22 high risk weather season to the National Cabinet (which includes the PM, chief ministers and premiers) back on November 5.
It highlighted a number of dangerous patterns that are forecast to hit the country up until April, including higher chances of tropical cyclones, flooding, coastal erosion and marine heatwaves. There’s also a higher chance of heatwaves and a higher bushfire risk for parts Queensland and NSW.
The National Cabinet was officially formed back in March 2020 as a response to COVID-19. As a general rule, discussions and documents from the cabinet are confidential.
Patrick says he got the info via a Freedom of Information Act and then shared the documents in a series of tweets. The presentation by the Bureau was created with publicly available information and Patrick has called Morrison a ‘secrecy maniac’ for keeping the information private.
#EXCLUSIVE: Here’s more of what you should absolutely be informed about, but @ScottMorrisonMP thinks is only for him and the premiers/chief ministers to see. Your taxes paid for the analysis, it’s about risks to you and you have a #righttoknow. #auspol #climate #transparency #FOI pic.twitter.com/iNuYqrxQCR
— Rex Patrick (@Senator_Patrick) December 3, 2021
In the replies of Patrick’s tweet, commentators have been critical of Morrison’s decision not to share the info.
One wrote “this information not being publicly released by the government as an ongoing national safety campaign is just bizarre”, while another said “beats me why PM would resist releasing this. It’s all publicly accessible data, or derived from it, continually revised, via BOM”.
Morrison did publish a media release about the cabinet meeting but, as pointed out by The Guardian, only one line mentioned the weather briefing.
Given the apocalyptic weather patterns Australia has faced in the past, you’d think that this sort of info would be something the leader of a nation would want to share with the general public.
As literally anyone who lives on the east coast of the country knows, Australia is already grappling with the effects of La Niña, the official enemy to Hot Girl Summer.
In areas of Queensland this week there’s been flooding so severe that residents have been airlifted to safety.
Sufficed to say, Australia’s chaotic and often dangerous weather is showing no sign of letting up, and I’m sure many Aussies would like as much pre-warning about possible high-risk weather events as possible.