Bushfire arrives into the township of Malua Bay NSW, just south of Batemans Bay. NYE locals seek refuge on the beach. Picture: Alex Coppel.
Bushfire arrives into the township of Malua Bay NSW, just south of Batemans Bay. NYE locals seek refuge on the beach. Picture: Alex Coppel.

Pitt defends PM’s bushfire efforts, slams protesters

HINKLER MP Keith Pitt has rushed to the defence of the nation's leader, saying the Prime Minister had made moves "that are needed right now" in response to the ongoing bushfire crisis.

His comments came after Newspoll figures showed Scott Morrison's popularity as Prime Minister had taken a plunge in the wake of his response to the national emergency.

"The Prime Minister has moved defence personnel and defence assets in to assist, as well as releasing emergency relief funds for those affected, mental health services and a range of other initiatives that are needed right now," Mr Pitt said.

"This is what needs to continue while this bushfire season is active."

BACKING LEADER: Hinkler MP Keith Pitt says Scott Morrison’s response to the bushfire emergency is what’s “needed right now”.
BACKING LEADER: Hinkler MP Keith Pitt says Scott Morrison’s response to the bushfire emergency is what’s “needed right now”.

Mr Pitt said any future planning needed to happen once the current bushfires were under control.

"The Prime Minister has detailed his plans for an inquiry into bushfires and that is when the spotlight can focus on reducing bushfire risk into the future, not now while lives and properties are at risk," he said.

"Our focus right now needs to be on those grieving families out there who have lost loved ones, homes, businesses, and stock."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison during his much criticised visit to the bushfire ravaged town of Cobargo, NSW.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison during his much criticised visit to the bushfire ravaged town of Cobargo, NSW.

Mr Pitt has been outspoken about bushfire issues in recent days, making headlines yesterday when he said protesters should be "ashamed of themselves".

He said attendees at the Sack ScoMo protest in Brisbane should be out fighting fires instead.

"I stand by my comments," Mr Pitt told news.com.au .

"I have always supported an individual's democratic right to protest.

"(But) now is not the time for protesters to be tying up critical police and other emergency service resources, blocking roads and potentially delaying the delivery of disaster relief."

University student Matt Gerrard went to the protest on Friday and was not impressed with Mr Pitt's comments.

"He's impulsive and ignorant of people's concerns," Mr Gerrard told news.com.au.

Over the weekend, Mr Morrison flagged changes to the Coalition's carbon emission reduction efforts and said a royal commission could be held into the catastrophic bushfire season.


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