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

2 January 2020, 15:26

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.

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

At least two people have died in the fire

At least two dead as Moscow defence research centre bursts into flames ‘with staff trapped inside’

Parisians along River Seine, below Cathedral Notre Dame celebrate Fête de la Musique - annual city-wide music festival each June

British woman 'gang-raped in Paris at music festival'

Jay Slater's father has urged people to come forward if they have any information on his son's disappearance

'Someone must know something': Jay Slater's father speaks out as search for missing son stretches into second week

Jay Slater's family have shared an image of what is believed to be the last sighting of him

Spanish police issue update on missing Jay Slater after family share CCTV of mystery figure believed to be teen

Jay Slater's family have shared an image of what is believed to be the last sighting of him

Missing Jay Slater's 'last sighting' in Tenerife: Family share CCTV of mystery figure believed to be teen

Hosts of Izmir Wildlife Park

Mother in 'serious condition' after being viciously mauled by wolf pack during jog through safari park

Tamayo Perry was killed in a shark attack.

Pirates of the Caribbean star mauled to death by shark while surfing in Hawaii

Debbie Duncan with Jay Slater

'I hope I'm not taking him home in a body bag': Jay Slater's mum feels 'let down' by conspiracy theories about her son

Barcelona is set to crack down on Airbnbs

Barcelona announces plans to ban holiday rentals for tourists from 2028

Hungary's Kevin Csoboth, bottom, shoots past Scotland's goalkeeper Angus Gunn, top, during a Group A match between Scotland and Hungary at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, Sunday, June 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Scotland knocked out of Euro 2024 following Hungary's 100th-minute goal as collision sees star stretchered off

Terror in Russia: Gunmen open fire at two synagogues killing six police before slitting priest's throat at Orthodox Church

Terror in Russia: Gunmen open fire at synagogue and Orthodox churches killing 15 police officers

Detective who probed Nicola Bulley offers services to Jay Slater's family as search for teen enters its second week

Investigator who probed Nicola Bulley offers services to Jay Slater's family as search targets remote buildings

M50 motorway Dublin

'Miracle' as schoolboy, 12, 'lucky to be alive' after toppling from toilet of moving coach onto motorway


Jay Slater's father and brother make emotional pleas for return of the missing teenager

Jay Slater had travelled to the Canary Islands for a music festival

Jay Slater's mum issues desperate plea after Spanish police reject help in search for missing Brit

Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky has reportedly slammed Nigel Farage for his controversial comments about the West provoking the invasion of the country.

Zelensky says Farage 'infected by Putinism' as Reform leader doubles down on Ukraine comments