Angry locals launched into an expletive-filled attack at the Australian prime minister when he visited a town ravaged by wildfires.
One resident of Cobargo shouted at Scott Morrison: “How about the money for our forgotten corner of New South Wales, Mr Prime Minister?”
She added: “How come we only had four trucks to defend our town. Because our town doesn’t have a lot of money, but we have hearts of gold Mr Prime Minister.”
Image: One woman asked Mr Morrison about the people killed in the fires
At least 18 people have been killed and tens of thousands of people have been ordered to leave parts of Australia’s eastern coastline, as raging bushfires continue unabated.
Mr Morrison, leader of the centre-right Liberal Party, walked with his hands in his pockets without responding to the heckling.
“No, you’re an idiot mate. You really are,” one resident called, as another asked him to think of the dead, saying: “What about the people who are dead now, Mr Prime Minister? What about the people who have nowhere to live?”
The tense confrontation included one man shouting: “You won’t be getting any votes around here buddy. You’re an idiot. What about the people round here? Nobody. No Liberal votes. You’re out, son. You are out. Goodnight Vienna. Bye. Go on, p*** off.”
More from Australia
He added: “You’re not welcome you f******.”
An unnamed woman addressed one of the cameramen, speaking down the lens: “Every single time this area has a flood or a fire, we get nothing. If we were Sydney, if we were north coast, we would be flooded with donations with urgent emergency relief.”
Mr Morrison got into a car and drove off, as the residents sarcastically applauded him and one man made offensive hand gestures before saying simply “f*** off”.
Image: Residents applauded as the prime minister left
A man added: “Stay out. Don’t come back. You’re not f****** welcome.”
Mr Morrison addressed the confrontation once he was away from the crowd, saying: “Well, I’m not surprised people are feeling very raw at the moment.
“And that’s why I came today, to be here, to see it for myself, to offer what comfort I could. But you can’t always, in every circumstance, I think everyone understands that. I appreciate the welcome we received… But at the same time, I understand the very strong feelings people have, they’ve lost everything.
“And there is still, you know, some very dangerous days ahead. And we understand that, and that’s why we’re going to do everything we can to ensure they have every support they will need.”
The south coast of New South Wales will experience extreme danger from fires this weekend, with temperatures forecast to pass 40C (104F).
New South Wales Rural Fire Service said on social media that the area between Batemans Bay and the border with the state of Victoria “is not safe”.
They instructed tourists in the area, which is popular during summer holidays, to leave, adding: “Do not be in this area on Saturday”.
Source : Sky News