Australia wildfires: PM Scott Morrison branded 'idiot' on visit to fire-hit town

2 January 2020, 15:26 | Updated: 2 January 2020, 15:40

Cobargo residents criticised PM Scott Morrison (right)
Cobargo residents criticised PM Scott Morrison (right). Picture: PA/Sky News

By Megan White

Angry residents of a town ravaged by wildfires hit out at the Australian Prime Minister during a visit – branding him an “idiot” and telling him he “isn’t welcome.”

Locals in Cobargo, New South Wales, blasted the premier while he visited the town, where two people died earlier this week and many have lost their homes.

The state has already declared a week-long state of emergency as the threat from the out of control bushfires escalates.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the state of emergency on Thursday, she said the state was preparing for "what could be a horrible day on Saturday."

More than 50,000 people are without power and some towns had no access to drinking water.

On his visit to the town, Mr Morrison was approached by infuriated residents, who criticised his response to the emergency.

He was previously slammed for going on holiday to Hawaii as the crisis worsened before he was forced to return home by public outrage.

One local shouted: “What about your money for our forgotten corner of New South Wales, Mr Prime Minister?

"How come we only had four trucks to defend our town, ‘cause our town doesn't have a lot of money, but we have hearts of gold Mr Prime Minister."

Another added: "You won't be getting any votes around here buddy. You're an idiot. What about the people round here?

Homes and shops in Cobargo have been burnt down
Homes and shops in Cobargo have been burnt down. Picture: PA

“Nobody. No Liberal votes. You're out, son. You are out. Goodnight Vienna. Bye. Go on, p*** off.

"You're not welcome you f******."

While a third said: “What about the people who are dead now, Mr Prime Minister? What about the people who have nowhere to live?”

Responding later to the hostile reception, Mr Morrison told ABC: "I understand the very strong feelings people have, they've lost everything, and there are still some very dangerous days ahead.

"My job is to ensure that we steady things through these very difficult days and support the states in the response that they are providing."

Blazes have ravaged the state of New South Wales
Blazes have ravaged the state of New South Wales. Picture: PA

Authorities have ordered tourists to leave a 155-mile zone along the picturesque south coast.

Since September, bushfires have killed 18 people and destroyed more than 1,200 homes across Victoria and NSW.

At least 17 people remain missing after fires this week alone as apocalyptic wildfires sweep across parts of the country.

Conditions are expected to worsen on Saturday, with high temperatures and strong winds returning to the area.

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