'Something to cheer about': Scott Morrison slammed over bushfire cricket tweet

Scott Morrison has weathered backlash over a tweet saying the Australian cricket team will give fire-impacted communities and firefighters "something to cheer about".

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (left) is seen with Australian cricket player Steve Smith (right).

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (left) is seen with Australian cricket player Steve Smith (right). Source: AAP

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been accused of showing a lack of empathy over a tweet saying the Australian cricket team will give firefighters and fire impacted communities something to cheer for.

He sent the tweet out with a photo of him at a training session on Wednesday at the Gabba in Brisbane ahead of their Test match against Pakistan. 

“Going to be a great summer of cricket, and for our firefighters and fire-impacted communities, I’m sure our boys will give them something to cheer about,” Mr Morrison tweeted.

The Prime Minister had earlier tweeted about a visit on the same day to the Queensland Fire & Emergency Services Centre bringing attention to dangerous fire conditions across the country.

But his tweet about the Australian cricket team has received backlash for not striking the right tone.

Former independent MP Kerryn Phelps was among those to take issue with the Prime Minister’s comments.

“It must be the empathy consultant’s day off,” she said.

Others on Twitter also questioned the sensitivity of the Prime Minister’s comments with the post attracting at least 1.8 thousand responses.  

"Now is not the time to talk about cricket," one user said. 

Hundreds of homes have been lost across New South Wales and Queensland this fire season and four people have lost their lives.

"Yep all those that lost their house and love one's must be over the moon that a cricket game is about to start," another user said.

"Yes I'm sure the people sifting through the remains of their home or planning a funeral can't wait for PAK v AUS. Seriously," Carol Darrell added.

Others said the Prime Minister's focus should be elsewhere.

"The link to bushfires you're looking for is climate change, not cricket," Troy Simpson said. 

Prime Minister Morrison has continually urged the focus of unprecedented bushfires to be placed on those so “horribly impacted” across the country.

But he has been accused of dodging questions on the link between climate change increasing the potency of these conditions for saying his focus was on “the needs of the people” as he visited these communities.

Mr Morrison told ABC Radio on Thursday the association between climate change and potent bushfire conditions were understood. 

“These are things that were very well known to the Government – the contribution of these issues to global weather conditions and to conditions here in Australia are known and acknowledged,” he said.

"We like taking action on climate change - that's what we like doing ... not just jabbering on about it."

3 min read
Published 21 November 2019 at 8:54am
By SBS News
Source: SBS