Mayor Of Bushfire-Ravaged Town Slams Morrison's 'Unbelievable' Climate Answer
A mayor whose home was severely damaged in a northern NSW bushfire has slammed Scott Morrison as "unbelievable" after he sidestepped a question on whether climate change was linked to the state's unprecedented blazes.
The prime minister refused to address global warming on Saturday, instead saying he was only thinking of the victims, their families and the emergency services personnel fighting the fires.
When asked by a journalist if he accepted that the fires were in "some way linked to climate change", Morrison answered:
"My only thoughts today are with those who have lost their lives and their families. The firefighters who are fighting the fires, the response effort that has to be delivered and how the Commonwealth has to responded in supporting those efforts."
Glen Innes Severn Council mayor Carol Sparks -- who is convinced climate change is increasing the number of fires and their intensity -- was disappointed with the PM's response.
"It's unbelievable - how can he deny it?" the Greens councillor told AAP.
"It's becoming more and more obvious surely. Why isn't he saying 'yes it is climate change'? Why isn't he saying 'we will do all we can to help'? He is our leader. He should know better."
Sparks -- a great-grandmother who was among the residents evacuated as the Kangawalla fire burned east of Glen Innes on Friday -- said people need to "see what's happening outside their very doors".
"We are so impacted by drought and the lack of rain," she said.
"It's climate change, there's no doubt about it. The whole of the country is going to be affected. We need to take a serious look at our future."
Morrison has tweeted several times about the fires, praising the "unspeakable" bravery and "courage" of firefighters, and also sending "thoughts and prayers" to those affected.
The mayor returned to her brick house in Wytaliba on Saturday to find a part of the roof had blown off, windows were broken and pipes had burned.
She initially feared the home was lost, but now hopes it can be saved.
Sparks said it could take six months before she and her family can move back in, but noted: "We're better off than a lot of other people."
She told AAP her thoughts were first and foremost with the families of those who had died and others who are missing.
"The worst thing is that the community has lost family and friends and we are all very upset."