Firey’s support of Hanson defended

Mr Parker gained attention during the bushfire crisis after an expletive-laden rant directed at Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

But footage from the same interview revealed yesterday that One Nation leader Ms Hanson was the only pollie he supported.

After that footage was shared on Twitter, Mr Parker was criticised for his support of the One Nation leader.

Studio 10 host Joe Hildebrand said Mr Parker had “rang the bell on the idiocy and knee-jerk extremist politics in this country” by voicing his support for Ms Hanson.

But co-host Kerri-Anne Kennerley defended the firey’s political beliefs, saying they didn’t detract from him being a “hero”.

“He is a bloke who did a fabulous job, worked really hard trying to put out the fires, a bloke under stress, and what on earth has affection for Pauline Hanson got to do with anything?”

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Mr Parker said that Pauline Hanson was ‘unreal’. Picture: The ProjectSource:Channel 10

The controversial One Nation leader is the only politician who ‘cares about the country’. Picture: Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images

The controversial One Nation leader is the only politician who ‘cares about the country’. Picture: Tracey Nearmy/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“Just because Pauline Hanson is constantly the victim of being ridiculed because some people don’t like what she’s said, but we’re still a democratic country and she is allowed, and he is allowed to like whoever he wants.”

In footage aired by Nine News, the Nelligen volunteer firefighter aired his support for the controversial One Nation leader, suggesting she was the only politician doing the right thing by Australians.

“There’s only one person that cares about this country and that’s Pauline Hanson,” he said.

“Come and see us in Nelligen, Pauline. Mate, you’re unreal, you care about the country. The rest of them don’t.”

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The interview was aired amid fresh controversy, after Mr Parker claimed he had been sacked by the Rural Fire Service following his rant earlier this year.

“The message I got was about time you brought the truck back because we were about to send the police to go look for you,” Mr Parker told The Project on Sunday night.

“And then there were further comments with gestures and arm movements saying that I’m finished. It’s all over.”

“Another captain from another brigade within Batemans Bay came out and I asked him the question, I said: ‘What’s going on?’ He said: ‘You’re finished because of your allegations and foul language against the PM of the country while representing the RFS’.

“Didn’t know you could get sacked from a volunteer organisation but apparently you can.”

The RFS denied Mr Parkers claims in a Twitter post that read, “We can confirm Paul remains a member of the NSW RFS and has not been dismissed”.

RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told Ten Daily on Monday that he wasn’t aware of why Mr Parker thought he’d been let go.

“That doesn’t mean there haven’t been conversations locally with his volunteer peers,” Mr Fitzsimmons said, adding the nation’s firefighters had been left “very tired, very emotionally drained” by “a confronting fire season”.

While Mr Fitzsimmons said the RFS were trying to contact Mr Parker on Monday to speak to him further, Mr Parker told The Project on Monday night that he had 39 missed phone calls, and none of them were from the fire service.

“RFS, Paul Parker, no more,” he told panellists Carrie Bickmore, Waleed Aly, Peter Helliar and Steve Price.

“To be quite honest, I am a bit over it all. The fires are out, I want to move on with the rest of my life, and I want to move on with building our own local brigade with 30 or 40 local people around the area that are very keen to get it up and running so that we can look after ourselves and get away from the red tape and bureaucracy.”

At a press conference on Monday, the Prime Minister sought to clarify the comments that had sparked Mr Parker’s outrage in the first place.

“I understand Paul was feeling incredibly exhausted, and incredibly drained by those events and he was working his tail off defending his community,” the PM said.

“The other thing is, I’ve seen it said what he was responding to. I never said that firefighters enjoyed doing this. What I said, and this was misreported at the time, was firefighters would be out there defending their communities, they want to be out there defending their communities when their communities were at risk.”

When asked by Price if he forgave the Prime Minister, Mr Parker said, “They’re just words, Scott Morrison. Means nothing to me mate. Don’t regret what I said, never will.”


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