A resident of flood-stricken Eugowra has confronted Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, demanding he explain where he has been while NSW central west was devastated by more record floods.
The town of 700 was devastated when floodwaters ripped through businesses and homes early last week.
Mr Albanese was touring the region with NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet on Tuesday when Eugowra plasterer Anthony Robinson decided to take his opportunity to get some answers.
“Where have you been the last week?” he said.
“Overseas, I heard… your people need you here.”
The PM had just returned from a trip to Asia where he represented Australia at the G20 summit in Indonesia, the APEC summit in Thailand and the ASEAN summit in Cambodia.
It appeared Mr Robinson was comparing Mr Albanese’s absence to that of former Prime Minister Scott Morrison during the Black Summer bushfires of 2019/20.
“Don’t get off on the wrong foot … but throughout the election, one of your slogans (you weren’t) was to hold a hose,” Mr Robinson said.
“I’m not trying to try you… (but) it’s not getting help now, it’s getting help in the next six to 12 months that I’m most concerned about.”
The Prime Minister replied that while he was representing Australia he had come as soon as possible.
“I came right away. I’m here. I was in contact with Dom, we had the deputy prime minister, the ADF was here on day one,” Mr Albanese said.
The heated exchange comes a week after NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet faced similar criticism from another Eugowra resident.
“We had no food, no clothes, nobody told them what was going to happen next because nobody was here,” Peter Jones said.
“What’s going to happen up here now?”
“All these people have been taken to Orange, they have no house to go to.
Mr Perrottet assured Mr Jones he would “do everything we can to make sure that gets fixed, we will do that”.
The couple organized a reunion when the PM returned to the region on Tuesday and Mr Perrottet told reporters he was “fine”.
Originally published as Eugowra resident PM accused of hypocrisy during Central West flood crisis