Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud has vowed to work with states and territories to create a sovereign aerial firefighting fleet, after copping heat over the Morrison government's lukewarm response to the bushfires royal commission recommendation.
Dozens of fires are burning across Australia, ahead of scorching temperatures predicted for Tuesday.
The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements recommended Australia establish a "modest" aerial firefighting capability, including a very large or large air tanker, and type-1 helicopters, as the nation could no longer rely on overseas aircraft as fire seasons increasingly overlapped.
However the government merely "noted" the recommendation.
Labor's emergency management spokesman Murray Watt said the government was not taking the recommendations of the royal commission seriously.
"We saw the royal commission recommended that the federal government set up a national aerial firefighting fleet. Scott Morrison rejected that recommendation," Senator Watt said.
"We saw what happened last year when we didn't have the aerial water bombers that we needed, tried to bring them in from overseas and they weren't available. And now we've got a recommendation from the royal commission saying we should have our own. Scott Morrison's too arrogant and too stubborn to take up the recommendation."
But Mr Littleproud said it was wrong to suggest the government had rejected the recommendation.
"It is important to understand that it is the fire commissioners from around this country that determine the make up of the aerial aircraft that we take," Mr Littleproud said.
Mr Littleproud also said of 128 of the 158 firefighting aircraft sitting on tarmacs across Australia at present were Australian craft.
"So already AFAC and NAFSI are already working through the fact that there will need to be Australian aircraft on the ground," Mr Littleproud said.
"We will now work with the states to ensure that we work through that recommendation together because they are the ones with the expertise which determine whether you need a large aerial tanker, whether you need small-winged aircraft."
The Morrison government came under fire for its slow response to the Black Summer fires, which swept through more than 24 million hectares of land, killing 33 people and destroying more than 3000 homes.
An estimated 3 billion animals were killed or displaced by the fires and the economic impact is believed to be around $10 billion.
The royal commission found the severity and duration of the 2019-20 bushfire season placed strain on the existing arrangements for sharing aerial firefighting capabilities between the states and territories.
"On some occasions during the 2019-20 bushfire season states and territories were unable to call upon additional aviation services when needed," the final report said.
However Mr Littleproud said the government moved to secure extra aircraft as soon as it was required.
"In November last year I wrote to AFAC, and asked them did they have enough aerial assets. They wrote back and said yes," Mr Littleproud said.
"In December they came back to us and said they required more. The Prime Minister and I acted swiftly and put in an additional $11 million on the table to make sure there were large aerial tankers on the ground. That is what we do. We work with the professionals."