A fired up Kyle Sandilands has come out fighting to defend Scott Morrison, slamming other media outlets for how they’ve reported the Prime Minister’s response to the flood crisis.
In a lengthy interview on KIIS FM with Sandilands and Jackie O on Tuesday, Mr Morrison said, ‘It’s not just a flood, it’s an inland tsunami that’s occurred up in the Northern Rivers of NSW, which is devastating.’
Sandilands put it to the PM that a lot of people are blaming him personally for a slow response to the crisis.
‘It’s as if a lot of news wants to put out a false narrative about you, and I don’t like this, especially around election times … a lot of people are saying you never sent the Army in, you never did this, it’s all you, you, you, you,’ he said.
KIIS FM host Kyle Sandilands (pictured) told his listeners that he ‘feels safe’ under Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Mr Morrison replied that the Army did exactly what was needed after consultation between the state and federal governments.
‘Floods hit often at a level that can’t be anticipated, and the flood in Lismore was officially a one-in-500-year flood,’ he said.
‘That means they’ve never seen a flood like that in the entire time since Jimmy Cook (British explorer Captain James Cook) turned up in Australia. So we’ve never seen a flood like that before.’
Sandilands then asked why are ‘the news services and the newspapers and everything pretending that the Army and you did nothing? Is this more of an election stunt that they’re behind? Why isn’t it real news, the real situation that happened?’
In replying, Mr Morrison initially called Sandilands ‘Karl’ (referring to Karl Stefanovic), rather than Kyle.
‘That’s alright, I’m his friend too,’ Sandilands replied.
The Prime Minister said that every time Australia has a natural disaster ‘our political opponents have sought to weaponise (them) for political purposes.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is seen inspecting flood damage in the suburb of Milton in Brisbane, Thursday, March 10, 2022
Floodwater surrounds businesses on March 3, 2022 in Ballina, NSW. Scott Morrison said ‘we’ve never seen a flood like that before’
‘And normally in natural disasters there’s a lot of bipartisanship, people work together, but unfortunately over the last three-and-a-half years they’ve tried to use it to have a crack at me on every occasion,’ he said.
Mr Morrison said he had been working closely with the NSW Premier in coordinating the aid effort in northern NSW.
‘Dom Perrottet is up there and he’s doing a great job. We’ve all been working together to get this done.
‘No one wants to know what’s going on between the state government and the federal government, they couldn’t care less and Dom and I couldn’t care either, we just want to get the help to people,’ he said.
Kyle Sandilands (pictured left) and co-host Jackie O (right) interviewed Prime Minister Scott Morrison (inset) on Tuesday
The Prime Minister then said $1.5billion has already been put in to helping people in the floods in NSW alone and that 865,000 people have been given $713million in emergency aid.
Sandilands replied: ‘Why isn’t the news reporting on these things? It only looks to be hen pecking through people that have fallen through the cracks and they’re bringing them up to the surface as if the government’s doing nothing.’
Mr Morrison agreed, saying, ‘Those facts don’t seem to get out’.
He also addressed climate change, which many are blaming for increased severity of flooding and bushfires in Australia.
A State Emergency Services car drives through a flooded street on March 3, 2022 in Ballina, NSW
‘With climate changes it’s getting harder, and that’s why we’ve got to work on more of the things, not just to get emissions down – they’re down by 20 per cent by the way – but also to ensure that we’re building the dams, reducing fuel loads in bushfire areas, and that’s what you need now to live in the climate we have,’ the Prime Minister said.
He warned, though, that local help will always be vital. ‘The local community will always be responders when there’s a natural disaster … we don’t have a Defence Force base around the corner in every single town,’ he said.
‘I had someone ask me up there (in Ballina in northern NSW), why do people have to go and rescue their neighbours? My answer is “because they’re Australians. That’s what Australians do and that’s how we get through disasters.”‘
After covering other issues, including that the PM likes TV show The Voice and can play Khe Sanh on the ukulele, Sandilands returned yet again to the what he believes is media bias against Mr Morrison – with a major exception.
A car is abandoned on a flooded street on March 3, 2022 in Ballina in north-eastern New South Wales
The Ballina Shire Council building is pictured surrounded by floodwater on March 3, 2022
‘But I feel that Paul Murray over at Sky News, he’s very good, he explains everything in detail and he’s not boring,’ said the radio host.
‘I know him very well,’ replied Mr Morrison. ‘We did a town hall forum together up in Gosford last night.
‘On Paul’s program he will tell you all those things that I told you today.’
Mr Morrison finished by saying, ‘My thoughts are still very much with everybody affected by the floods.
‘And on those cost of living pressures, the budget is coming up in a couple of weeks and I’ll have a bit more to say about that then.’
At that, Sandilands said to his co-host Jackie O and their listeners that ‘I feel safe with him.’
Climate activists protest as Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a press conference following a visit to the Emergency Operations Centre in Lismore, NSW on 9 March 2022