‘He truly loves it': Abbott praised
FORMER prime minister Tony Abbott has once again been praised for lending a hand during Australia's bushfire crisis, this time by Today show host Karl Stefanovic.
Stefanovic, who made his long-awaited return to the morning show on Saturday, commended Abbott after footage was played of him arriving at the Rural Fire Service in New South Wales' south coast for another day of battling blazes.
"He truly loves it, he loves being part of a team," Stefanovic said.
"He's one of just a team out there and he loves fighting fires."
Abbott, who has been a volunteer firefighter for 20 years, has been praised for his firefighting efforts in recent weeks, as Australia continues to battle an unprecedented bushfire season.
He was filmed greeting army reserve members at the Nowra staging centre this morning.
"So ScoMo's troops have arrived, well done! Good on you fellas," Abbott said, referring to the Prime Minister's decision on Saturday to deploy 3000 ADF soldiers to the country's worst fire-stricken areas.
When asked by reporters if he was there to lend a helping hand, Abbott called out the other 70,000 volunteers who have dedicated their time to fighting the fire crisis.
Stefanovic commended Abbott on his efforts and humble response, saying the former leader's work exemplifies how Australia has banded together during this time of tragedy and crisis.
"I don't think I've ever seen, for a long, long time, the country come together and certain people have lifted and led, without really wanting acknowledgment for it," Stefanovic said.
The praise comes after footage emerged yesterday of Abbott running into a burning house yesterday.
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A post on the Ingleside Rural Fire Service brigade's Facebook page said he and his fellow firefighters had to cope with temperatures hitting 45C, and that they had managed to successfully save all of the houses on Curvers Drive at Manyana.
"Great to see Tony working hard as he always does when he volunteers with the RFS," the post read.
"Our Ingleside Strike Team Leader and his team, including our former Prime Minister Tony Abbott were first into the street.
"Sheds and caravans were lost, but all houses were saved."
The former PM's actions comes as current PM Scott Morrison continues to face criticism over his response to the bushfires, including a holiday he took to Hawaii as blazes raged last month.
Stefanovic was just one of many to unleash on Morrison, launching an impassioned monologue about the PM during his Saturday return to Today.
"No matter which way you look at it, Prime Minister, Scott Morrison is under the pump this morning on several fronts," he began.
"He is the leader of this great country. He was elected by the Australian people to lead. But during this crisis over the past month, he has shown a lack of ability to lead. To connect with the Australian people who are hurting and who are grieving."
Mr Morrison has also defended the timing of his announcement to deploy military resources to the fire fight, which included a 50-second clip that's been criticised as self promotional.
Over the weekend, Defence Minister Linda Reynolds admitted she was in Bali on holidays shortly after Mr Morrison's return.
NSW Emergency Services Minister David Elliott has similarly landed in hot water after he took a trip to Europe during the disaster.