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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison fled the town of Cobargo after residents confronted him about the lack of support during the bushfire crisis.
The PM visited the devastated region after a bushfire tore through it on Monday, December 30, killing two local farmers and destroying the town’s entire main street.
Footage taken in Cobargo shows Morrison attempting to shake the hands of heartbroken and furious residents who pointed out the town – one of the hardest hit in New South Wales – had received no help to tackle the devastation.
See the moment the prime minister fled the scene below:
Morrison took a few pictures with locals before they began shouting and confronting him about the lack of action. One resident told the prime minister he wouldn’t be ‘getting any votes’ from Cobargo residents, while another told Morrison to ‘go home to Kirribilli’.
One frustrated woman claimed other areas of the country receive a wealth of support during emergencies, while Cobargo is ‘totally forgotten’.
This is not fair… Every single time this area gets a flood or a fire we get nothing.
If we lived in Sydney or on the North Coast we would be flooded with donations and emergency relief.
The prime minister didn’t appear to respond to any of the comments but instead swiftly made his way to a waiting car, which sped away while residents continued to shout.
Morrison responded to the negative reception in an interview with ABC News, where he explained he ‘wasn’t surprised’ people were feeling raw.
I understand the very strong feelings people have. They’ve lost everything and there’s still some very dangerous days ahead… that’s why we’re going to do everything we can to ensure they have every support they will need.
The prime minister has urged residents to stay calm amid the crisis and said it is not about politics, ABC News reports.
This isn’t about prime ministers, premiers, mayors, politics, it’s about the people that need the help and the resources on the ground.
Morrison has confirmed the National Security Committee of Cabinet will meet on Monday, January 6, to address ‘contingencies’ required for the current fire season.
Bushfires tearing across Australia have destroyed more than 3.6 million hectares of land and killed 18 people, as well as nearly half a billion animals.
Our thoughts are with all those struggling as a result of the fires.
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