The deputy prime minister has launched a full-throated attack against the "disgraceful, disgusting" behaviour of "raving inner-city lunatics" linking climate change to bushfires in Queensland and NSW.
Michael McCormack also defended the Morrison government not meeting senior fire and emergency service leaders demanding action on climate change.
Three people have been killed and 150 homes destroyed in NSW, while there are still 47 fires burning in Queensland.
Firefighters across Sydney and NSW are bracing for "catastrophic" conditions on Tuesday, with a state of emergency declared.
Defence force personnel have been put on notice to provide whatever help they could.
Cabinet minister Mathias Cormann said it was vital people listen to emergency services.
"Though heartbreaking, houses and gardens can be replaced. But family members can never be replaced, they just can't," he told parliament.
The government would do whatever it could to help people get back on their feet after the crisis was over, he said.
Mr McCormack 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."
Mr McCormack was not nearly as dismissive of the mayor of Glenn Innes, whose regional township is in the centre of the unprecedented NSW blaze, for drawing a link to climate change.
Greens MP Adam Bandt labelled the deputy prime minister a "dangerous fool" who was putting lives at risk.
"Thoughts and prayers are not enough, we need science and action too," he told reporters.
His colleague Larissa Waters echoed this sentiment during parliamentary speeches about the fires, saying scientists had advised governments since 2006 about the risk.
"The complete lack of climate policy in this country is simply pouring fuel on these fires making them more likely and more intense," she said.
A group known as the Emergency Leaders for Climate Action has written to the federal government twice this year to request a meeting with responsible ministers.
In April, they warned of increasingly catastrophic extreme weather events putting lives and properties at risk.
The 22 representatives wrote again in September after their first letter went unanswered.
"You do get a lot of groups which put names on their titles that quite frankly are a front for something else ... and honestly all they want to do is waste your time," Mr McCormack said.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor's office says he did offer to meet the group but it didn't accept.
Labor senator Penny Wong said the immediate focus should be on firefighters battling the blazes, people at risk and those grieving lost loved ones.
"But I will say, it is the responsible thing to when we are through this current crisis, to focus on what we have to do to keep Australians safe," she told parliament.
"When I was climate minister, scientists were already warning of more intense fire seasons. Regrettably, these warnings have been proved correct."
Australian Associated Press
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