Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison criticised for focusing on White Island while 'Australia burns'

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has come under fire for seeming to focus more on the White Island eruption than on bushfires in Australia. 

Dozens of fires continue to rage across NSW and Queensland, with air quality in Sydney reaching levels five times what is considered hazardous. 

But many say the prime minister is failing to give the situation the attention it needs.

"It's time for @ScottMorrisonMP to address the nation, harnessing the same emotion & empathy he clearly felt re NZ volcano disaster & tell us what plans he has to deal w[ith] THIS disaster,"  ABC broadcaster Margaret Throsby wrote on Twitter.

Multiple Australians were caught up in the White Island tragedy, with at least three believed dead and more injured or missing.

Morrison quickly took to Twitter after the eruption, writing: "Australians have been caught up in this terrible event and we are working to determine their wellbeing."

He later offered "our full support" to the New Zealand Government. 

But online, patience seems to be wearing thin for how Morrison is dealing with the dozens of bushfires still burning across Australia.

"Quick to get his face on about this but no statement about the tragedy in NSW and Queensland," wrote one person after Morrison spoke about the White Island eruption at a press conference in Australia.

"Meanwhile Australia burns," wrote another.

Morrison also caused anger this week after rejecting calls for more help for firefighters fighting the blazes, saying volunteer firefighters "want to be there".

Despite saying the government would not begin paying volunteer firefighters, Morrison has rejected claims he isn't doing enough in the face of the fires.

Smoke from the blazes has been particularly bad in recent days, with locals in Sydney describing the situation as "apocalyptic" and "insane", according to BBC News.

There were 150 ambulance call-outs for breathing and asthma-related issues on Tuesday, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Air quality readings were more than five times the level classified as 'hazardous' in some parts of the city.

Ferries in the city were also cancelled due to low visibility and various outdoor facilities were closed.

NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean said on Tuesday "no one can deny" that the fires are a result of climate change.

"This is not normal and doing nothing is not a solution," he said.

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