Barnaby Joyce has been slammed for his “disgraceful” comments on those killed in the NSW bushfires, with a friend of deceased man George Nole accusing him of rubbing “salt in the wounds.”
The former deputy PM appeared in a Sky News interview this morning, where he dismissed the victims of the tragedy as being “most likely people who voted for the Green party.”
His comments drew criticism from members of Labour, the Greens and the Liberals, and even Mathias Cormann admitted that his choice of words was “not appropriate.”
This afternoon, a friend of one of the victims joined the chorus of those outraged at Joyce.
Aaron Hargreaves, a Northern Rivers food truck operator, was friends with Nole, whose body was found in his burned-out car in Wytaliba over the weekend.
Hargreaves, who is currently serving meals to firefighters and displaced families in the region, said of Joyce:
“Everyone is pretty emotional at the moment, but Barnaby’s comments are just salt in the wounds. I don’t know what the hell Barnaby is going on about what people vote for at a time like this.”
He added that many locals are “pretty cranky” with Joyce, and told Fairfax “they said things you probably don’t want to print … they’re pissed, they’re proper pissed.”
Nole, described as a “gentleman” who was well-known in the local community, is one of three people who have so far lost their lives in the fires.
63-year-old Julie Fletcher‘s body was discovered in a burnt-out home north of Taree, while 69-year-old Vivian Chaplain died of burns sustained while trying to save her Wytaliba home.