NSW Liberal MP Says Scott Morrison Got 'The Welcome He Probably Deserved' After Bushfire Visit
A New South Wales Liberal MP has launched an extraordinary rebuke of the Prime Minister after his awkward meeting with bushfire affected residents.
Scott Morrison was essentially yelled out of Cobargo, a village in the NSW Bega Valley, which has been burned to a crisp by a bushfire that raged just before New Year's Eve.
Two people refused to shake his hand, but Mr Morrison shook them anyway. Locals told him to 'piss off' and the leader walked away with his entourage looking a little embarrassed.
But he's even been slagged off by state Liberal MP Andrew Constance, who is the local member for Bega.
Speaking to Channel 7, Mr Constance said: "I didn't even know he was coming," Constance said.
"I haven't had a call from him, so to be honest with you, the locals probably gave him the welcome that he deserved.
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"I say this to the Prime Minister today, the nation wants you to open up the checkbooks and help people rebuild their lives.
"I know this is tough, I know I'm on his side of politics, but you know - [NSW Premier] Gladys [Berejiklian] and [RFS Commissioner] Shane Fitzsimmons came here two days ago.
"They obviously visited the fire affected part of my electorate in the north, but this is the feeling that people are going through, and I really need everybody to rally together to support each other."
It's a stunning comment coming from within the Liberal party, regardless of whether it's coming from the local, state or federal level.
The Prime Minister has been criticised for not being on the ground to speak to locals and that's why the reaction was so fierce when he arrived in Cobargo. It certainly didn't help that he didn't deal well with the backlash.
But as that back and forth continues, a much better story is brewing in Victoria's East Gippsland region as the Navy is preparing to evacuate its first batch of people who fled to Mallacoota beach.
Thousands flocked to the shoreline on New Year's Eve with everything they could carry as a fierce bushfire got closer to homes and properties.
The HMAS Choules is only able to take between 500 to 1,000 people each trip so they've had to be selective with who they take on the first trip to safety. People have been advised that they're only able to bring their luggage and pets.
Featured Image Credit: Channel 9