Australian PM Scott Morrison hits out at 'reckless' calls to cut coal industry

WION Web Team Sydney, Australia Dec 23, 2019, 12.49 PM(IST)

File photo: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison Photograph:( Reuters )

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Australia has been hit by catastrophic bushfires across New South Wales with blazes around Sydney burning to emergency levels.
 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison lashed out at "reckless and job-destroying" calls to introduce cuts in coal industry as the country struggles with wildfires.

"I am not going to write off the jobs of thousands of Australians by walking away from traditional industries," PM Morrison told Australia's Seven Network, while reiterating the same line to other news channels.

Australia has been hit by catastrophic bushfires across New South Wales with blazes around Sydney burning to emergency levels.

On Saturday, one person was killed due to the fire even as several major roads around Sydney remained shut ahead of Christmas.

"What we won't do is engage in reckless and job-destroying and economy-crunching targets which are being sought," PM Morrison told Australia's Channel 9 amid the wildfire controversy.

Reports said at least hundred fires were still raging across New South Wales last week of which six were characterised as "emergency level" with several thousand emergency personnel working across the state.

Two firefighters had died last week after truck was struck by a falling tree as it travelled the fire taking the death toll in New South Wales to eight. 

Meanwhile, police have warned people not to travel by roads during the day during to soaring temperatures.

In South Australia, authorities said one person was found dead, another was injured and several homes destroyed by a fire in the Adelaide Hills. In Victoria, authorities said 142 fires had started in the state since last Friday, with two burning at an emergency level on Saturday afternoon.