National

PM warns of more difficult days ahead

By AAP Newswire

Scott Morrison has warned Australians facing and fighting bushfires that even more difficult days could be ahead.

The prime minister and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian learnt first hand the difficulties firefighters are facing trying to tackle the raging fires during a visit to the north of the state.

"We're not out of this yet," Mr Morrison told reporters at an evacuation centre in Taree on Sunday.

"There is a long way to go and Tuesday is looking more difficult."

Three people have died and 150 homes have been lost in the bushfires in NSW, while firefighters are also battling fires in Queensland and Western Australia.

Despite the traumatic events of the past few days, Mr Morrison said he found the response of residents and their families as "quite inspiring".

At one stage the prime minister put his arm around 85-year-old Owen Whalan, who broke down in tears at the centre after having lost his Koorainghat property.

Earlier, the prime minister and premier were briefed on the unprecedented firestorms at the Mid-North Coast Fire Control Centre in Wauchope, where they were told firefighters have found it hard to contain and access some fire areas.

Mr Morrison was heckled during the briefing by a climate change protester.

"Climate change is real, can't you see," the man yelled, before being escorted from the building.

Mr Morrison wouldn't be drawn on climate change when quizzed about it during the media conference.

"I'm focused on the needs of the people in this room today, as is the premier, the needs of resourcing firefighters and to ensure they have everything they need to keep those firefighters safe and to protect as many properties as we can," he replied.

However, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack attacked Greens MP Adam Bandt for comments he had made on Saturday when he said the prime minister bore some responsibility for the bushfires because of what he perceived as a lack of climate change policy.

"Comments coming from a little Melbourne apartment from a little individual with a little mind should not be accepted or tolerated at this time," Mr McCormack told reporters.

He and Natural Disaster and Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud had just been briefed on the bushfires in Queensland at the Fire and Emergency Services Deployment Centre in Warana.

Earlier, Mr Littleproud confirmed the military had been called on to bring firefighters from interstate to help in NSW and Queensland, and are also being asked to help with catering, accommodation and some backburning.

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and the Disaster Recovery Allowance have been activated to provide financial assistance, payments that provide $1000 for adults and $400 for children who've lost their homes.

"That is just to get people through the here and now. We understand there is a bigger job to be done," Mr Littleproud told Sky News.

He urged fire victims to contact Centrelink to receive their payments from 12 pm on Sunday.

Labor Leader Anthony Albanese said he is intending to visit the bushfire areas when it is appropriate.

"One of the things that we should ensure, though, is that politicians don't get in the way of the work that has to be done," Mr Albanese told ABC television.