Australian Prime Minister Responds to Greta Thunberg's Bushfires Tweet: 'I'm Not Here to Try and Impress People Overseas'

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has dismissed Greta Thunberg's call for political action as bushfires hit the country, saying Australia would do "what we think is right for Australia."

The Liberal Party leader said it was not his job to "make commentaries on what those outside of Australia think Australia should do" in response to a tweet posted Sunday by the 16-year-old climate activist.

Morrison also said he was not in office to "try to impress people overseas" and wanted to put Australians first.

The Australian prime minister was asked for his response to Thunberg as bushfires struck across the country, with "watch and act" fires and one emergency fire active over four states at the time of writing, according to The Guardian.

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The New South Wales Rural Fire Service says a "watch and act" fire indicates a "heightened level of threat" while an "emergency warning" is the highest bushfire alert recommending immediate action.

One town near Sydney populated by 400 people has been almost entirely destroyed by bushfires, the BBC reported, adding that residents were not yet permitted to return.

Responding to Nine News Sydney footage of the devastating bushfires on Sunday, Thunberg said: "Not even catastrophes like these seem to bring any political action. How is this possible?

"Because we still fail to make the connection between the climate crisis and increased extreme weather events and nature disasters like the #AustraliaFires. That's what has to change. Now."

Speaking to reporters in Mudgee, New South Wales on Monday, Prime Minister Morrison said Australia would base climate policy on its "national interests," The Australian reported.

"We'll do in Australia what we think is right for Australia."

The prime minister later added: "I'm not here to try and impress people overseas. I'm here to do the right job for Australians and put them first.

"That means the environment in which we live at the top of that agenda, as well as the economy in which people live at the top of that agenda."

Newsweek has contacted Thunberg's representatives for a response to the Australian prime minister, but did not receive a response by time of publication.

Responding to calls for Australia's large coal industry to be cut in the wake of the bush fires, Morrison said his government would not adhere to "reckless" climate targets in a Daily Telegraph op-ed.

The Liberal Party leader also said he would "accept the criticism" for being on holiday in Hawaii as bushfires hit Australia last week.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaking at Kirribilli House on March 15, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. James Gourley/Getty Images
Australian Prime Minister Responds to Greta Thunberg's Bushfires Tweet: 'I'm Not Here to Try and Impress People Overseas' | World