A NSW family whose house was destroyed during the weekend’s devastating bushfires has dumped a barrel of their home’s ashes outside NSW Parliament, joining a snap protest demanding urgent government action on climate change.

Aaron Crowe and Fiona Lee, whose Bobin burned to the ground during the blaze, joined a crowd of hundreds this morning for the School Strike 4 Climate-led demonstration.

Crowe criticised recent attempts by politicians to downplay the link between climate change and the ‘catastrophic’ fire conditions, telling the gathering it’s time to be “realistic” about the issue.

They want to wind back climate policy now, when people are dying from climate change. You think this is a coincidence [when] scientists are telling us ‘This is going to happen’? The fire chiefs want to meet with our Prime Minister, telling him ‘This is going to happen,’ and it happens. And they say ‘Don’t talk about climate change.’ It’s not good enough.

“The time is definitely right for talking about climate change,” Lee added.

“For me, there has never been a better time to talk about climate change.”

Lee said it was vital to stem support to coal and gas companies whose carbon emissions have contributed to rising global temperatures, drawing cheers from the crowd.

Crowe then poured the ashes on the ground. Images from the scene show the pile of charred debris resting outside the NSW Parliament, some 350km south of where the couple’s house once stood.

The protest comes after statements from NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, National Party Leader Michael McCormack, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison dodging, downplaying, or outright attacking the link between manmade climate change and the devastating fires.

Large swathes of the state remain on high alert. Affected residents have been advised to check the NSW Rural Fire Service website for live updates on the situation.

Image: Tiffanie Turnbull / AAP Image