Australia

Barnaby Joyce says NSW bushfire dead 'most likely' voted for the Greens

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Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce has blamed the Greens for increasing the risk of bushfires by opposing hazard reduction burns.

Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce has suggested two people who died in the NSW bushfires "most likely" voted for the Greens as he blamed the minor party for increasing the threat of bushfires.

Mr Joyce made the comment on Sky News on Tuesday as he doubled-down on his claims that the fire service had conducted insufficient hazard reduction burns as a result of Greens opposition.

"I acknowledge that the two people who died were most likely people who voted for the Green party, so I am not going to start attacking them. That's the last thing I want to do."

It's the latest inflammatory comment in a stoush between the Greens and the Nationals over the link between climate change and the deadly bushfires. 

On Monday, Nationals leader Michael McCormack condemned "woke capital city greenies" after Melbourne-based Greens MP Adam Bandt suggested the government's inaction on climate change had contributed to the bushfires that have claimed three lives. 

Greens MP Adam Bandt took aim at the Government on Saturday, claiming NSW's bushfires were a result of poor climate policy.
Greens MP Adam Bandt took aim at the Government on Saturday, claiming NSW's bushfires were a result of poor climate policy.
AAP

While Mr Joyce also criticised Mr Bandt's political tactics, he acknowledged the impact of climate change on Australia's bushfire season.

"I completely condone that this is climate change. So let's put that one aside. And I acknowledge that things are getting drier. We're in a record drought, I mean, it's the bleeding obvious." 

Mr Joyce is calling for legislative change to allow more burns to be conducted during winter to eliminate fuel in fire-prone areas. 

"The only thing that burns is vegetation and if you've done fire hazard reduction burns, you don't have the vegetation or the amount there, to burn." 

His claims have been rejected by former NSW RFS Commissioner Greg Mullins who said hazard reduction burns were limited by warmer, drier conditions, rather than policies. 

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