During the announcement, Berejiklian repeatedly stressed that the situation in NSW is serious.
"The decision to declare a state of emergency is not taken lightly. You only declare states of emergency when it's absolutely necessary and on expert advice from commissioners. [...] You have to make sure that conditions are serious enough for that declaration to be made. You can't afford for people to be complacent", Berejiklian said, cited by The Daily Mail.
The measure reportedly gives additional authority for local firefighters to control and coordinate the allocation of government resources, close roads and evacuate residents.
It's difficult to NOT be alarmed over the CLIMATE when Australia is burning from one end to the other, experiencing a heat wave like never before, and the worst drought in living memory?— Ray Raymond (@raythemouse) December 18, 2019
Why isn't the Prime Minister doing what he should be doing?
Supporting firefighters. pic.twitter.com/xEE2mKokge
Berejiklian added, however, that NSW authorities were not expecting conditions to be as catastrophic as they were during the previous state of emergency declared on 11 November.
Not my story. just seen this. Just spoke to a contact who said a firefighter he was speaking with this morning broke down in tears at the enormity of the upcoming days. His crew has been asked to hold a fire line. He says it’s not possible #bushfiresNSW pic.twitter.com/kaXXqEUvwo— owen jones art (@last_jones) December 17, 2019
Local authorities warned on Thursday that current weather conditions could complicate the situation and the city of Sydney could again be engulfed in smoke.
Fires that have been burning #Australia for weeks in Queensland and New South Wales particularly, have caused huge amouts of #Co2 to be released into the atmosphere, exacerbating the already serious #clinatecrisis. The fire have caused the emission of 250 million tons of CO2. pic.twitter.com/PhpmIfUXCk— THE$Anna (@Anna53998481) December 18, 2019
Australia has been hit by ravaging bush fires that have destroyed over a million hectares of forest, including sensitive koala habitats.