Mayors from fire-ravaged areas of New South Wales have said there is no doubt that the devastating blazes tearing through their communities are a result of climate change.
Their comments are a rebuke to senior leaders within the state and federal governments, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Deputy PM Michael McCormack, who have criticised people for linking the current deadly bushfires to climate change.
As many as three people died in fires across the state at the weekend, with the State Government declaring a state of emergency amid predicted catastrophic conditions and predictions that the coming days will see “the most dangerous bushfire week this nation has ever seen”.
“What people need now is a little bit of sympathy and understanding and real assistance, they need help, they need shelter,” McCormack said on ABC Radio National.
“They don’t need the ravings of some pure enlightened and woke capital city greenies at this time when they are trying to save their homes.”
Responding directly to the comments made by the Deputy PM, Mid Coast mayor Claire Pontin said she felt “cranky” when she heard McCormack say that “we’ve had fires in Australia since time began”.
Pontin said the issue went beyond politics and said it was essential to talk about climate change when considering how to respond to the bushfires.