National

Need for national bushfire approach raised

By AAP Newswire

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese and former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull have stressed the need for national leadership in combating Australia's current bushfire crisis.

Mr Albanese says it's clear Australia is not fully in control of the bushfire situation and that fires "don't recognise state boundaries".

"I wrote to Scott Morrison three weeks ago. He wrote back to me saying (a national response) wasn't required and that everything was in hand," he told the ABC's Q&A program on Monday night.

"Quite clearly it's not.

"We need to actually ensure that we respond and the national government should be providing leadership on these issues."

Mr Turnbull says the bushfires are a "national security issue" and the national government needs to take responsibility for tackling the situation.

"When Australians' lives are at risk, when they are being threatened, when their families and their homes and their crops and properties and everything they hold dear is being put at threat, that's the national security issue," he told Q&A.

"If it isn't a national security issue, what is? The national government has to provide leadership."

Mr Turnbull agreed with the need for a national summit to brain storm new approaches to bushfire management.

"We do have to come together and recognise that this situation with fires is going to become worse.

"That is the inevitable consequence of a hotter and drier climate. That means we need stronger and more coordinated responses."

Both Mr Albanese and Mr Turnbull acknowledged the link between climate change and the severity of bushfires raging across NSW and Queensland.

Mr Turnbull also took aim at the negative influence of climate "deniers" within the Liberal Party.

"The government's policy on climate is being held to ransom by a group of deniers within the party and in the media and other sections outside the parliament. Therein lies the problem," he said.

Mr Albanese was asked about the difficulties faced by the Labor Party in balancing climate policy with the need to win support in coal mining regions.

"When it comes to our domestic emissions, there's a need to take strong action and have strong targets and we will do so and have mechanisms to drive that through.

"It's about a transition - making sure that people (in coal mining towns) have security and are looked after."