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Bushfire victim says deputy PM wrong on climate change link

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A woman whose family home was destroyed by bushfire says she’s disappointed by the deputy prime minister’s apparent attempts to play down any potential link between climate change and blazes in Queensland and NSW.

 

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Nationals leader Michael McCormack on Monday launched an attack against the “disgraceful, disgusting” behaviour of “raving inner-city lunatics” linking climate change to the blazes.

The home in which Cerene Lowe was born was among many razed in Wytaliba on Friday, when NSW endured an unprecedented number of emergency warning blazes.

“To disregard the issue of climate change in a situation like this is wrong,” Lowe told AAP late on Monday.

“The droughts are getting longer, farms have stopped work.”

She’s now focused on rallying support to rebuild the town – east of Glen Innes – through a GoFundMe page and local Facebook groups.

Three people have died and 150 homes been destroyed in NSW – a state now bracing for “catastrophic” conditions on Tuesday.

McCormack on Monday said it galled him when “inner-city lefties” raised climate change in relation to bushfires.

“We’ve had fires in Australia since time began, and what people need now is a little bit of sympathy, understanding and real assistance. They need help, they need shelter,” he told ABC Radio.

“They don’t need the ravings of some pure, enlightened and woke capital city greenies at this time, when they’re trying to save their homes, when in fact they’re going out in many cases saving other peoples’ homes and leaving their own homes at risk.”

He wasn’t as dismissive of Glen Innes Severn mayor Carol Sparks, whose home was severely damaged in the Wytaliba fire, and who told AAP there was “no doubt” about a link to climate change.

“She hasn’t asked for entire industries to be shut down … (like the) “inner-city raving lunatics”, McCormack said.

Greens MP Adam Bandt said the deputy prime minister was a “dangerous fool” putting lives at risk.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said her government was not shying away from talking about climate change – but for now must focus on protecting life during the state’s bushfire emergency.

“Let’s have these discussions another day,” she said.

“I don’t apologise for expressing that sentiment.”

-AAP

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