PM Imran Khan offers assistance for bushfire recovery in Australia

Australian PM admits mistakes, wants commission into brushfire response

Published by ABC Australia insiderMorrison told host David Speers that the investigation will investigate how the government should respond to and offer assistance to those affected by the flames, who have killed more than 20 people and destroyed more than 2,000 houses.

Public support for Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison has plunged amid criticism of his handling of the country's bushfire crisis.

The NZDF contingent is expected to remain in Australia at least until the end of January.

The review found that climate change had led to an increase in the frequency and severity of what scientists call "fire weather" - periods with a high fire risk due to some combination of hotter temperatures, low humidity, low rainfall and strong winds.

Smoke again sheathed Sydney on Sunday, nearly a new normal for the country's biggest city, moving the air quality into hazardous territory, according to the NSW Department of Primary Industry index.

The prime minister - a staunch supporter of fossil fuel industries - said emissions targets would "evolve" but ruled out curbing Australia's vast exports of coal.

"We want to reduce emissions and do the best job we possibly can and get better and better at it", he said.

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Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said it was a good first step, but he would continue to work to have the warnings dropped back to the original levels.

"These are sensitive environments, they are very emotional environments", he said.

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said he was not opposed to a Royal Commission, but did not want it used as an excuse not to answer questions.

Health officials in New South Wales urged extra precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses.

-The Australian government committed A$50 million to an emergency wildlife recovery program on Monday, calling the bushfires crisis engulfing the country "an ecological disaster" that threatens several species, including koalas and rock wallabies.

-Since October, thousands of Australians have been subjected to repeat evacuations as huge and unpredictable fires scorched more than 11.2 million hectares (27.7 million acres), an area almost half the size of the United Kingdom. "Fingers crossed", said the Service of NSW Rural Firefighters on Twitter. The government is providing A$76 million ($52 million) in areas including counselling and healthcare consultations.

Senator Birmingham said misinformation circling online and in some media exaggerated the geographic reach of the fires.

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