Australian comedian Celeste Barber made no secret of her acrimonious attitude towards Scott Morrison while hosting the sold out bushfire relief concert, Firefight Australia, on Sunday night.
The celebrity funny-woman gave the prime minister a blast at ANZ Stadium in Sydney while delivering a passionate “thank you” to volunteer firefighters who she said were “the ones who saved us”.
“You will never know how grateful we are. Our volunteers across this entire country, they are the ones who saved us,” she told the crowd of more than 70,000 people.
“They are the ones who cancel holidays to stay here and look after us, and I will speak now very confidently on behalf of a nation when I say to those volunteers: Thank you.”
The jab was an unmistakable reference to the criticism Mr Morrison faced for going ahead with his family holiday to Hawaii despite huge parts of NSW and Victoria being on fire.
“As Aussies, we band together because we have to look after each other — because it turns out people at the top don't,” she said.
“God knows people in power haven’t really done much…It is the people making the change and specifically it’s our volunteers.
“Thank you…I’m sorry you had to do it all on your own, we love you.”
Ms Barber resumed her rant later pointing to a T-shirt she had donned showing a caricature of a holidaying Scott Morrison wearing a Hawaiian shirt and Christmas hat.
Tens of thousands yelled and clapped in support of the 37-year-old as an image of her T-shirt went up on the big screen depicting the smiling PM with a cocktail in front of a wall of flames with the slogan, ‘Merry Crisis’.
Barber called on the crowd to stand up in a show of appreciation for the volunteers, and the stadium erupted into a prolonged and deafening cheer.
Rock behemoths Queen + Adam Lambert reprised the band's iconic 1985 Live Aid set for the roaring crowd, with Alice Cooper, Irish favourite Ronan Keating and singer-songwriter k.d. lang also performing.
Lambert said their involvement was a "no-brainer" while Keating, whose brother-in-law is a volunteer firefighter in Queensland, flew into the country especially for the concert.
Popular Australian acts spanning generations were also on the line-up, including 5 Seconds of Summer, Amy Shark, Daryl Braithwaite, Delta Goodrem, Grinspoon, John Farnham, Lee Kernaghan, Olivia Newton-John.
Fire Fight's profits will be shared between the Red Cross' disaster relief and recovery fund, rural and regional fire services and the RSPCA's bushfire appeal.
Donations to the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal were also being accepted during the concert, to fund grants for community-led projects needing support in the bushfires' aftermath.
By the end of the concert, which was closed by John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John, a whopping total of $9.5 million had been raised.
Barber spearheaded an independent bushfire relief fundraiser prior to the concert which raised more than $50 million.
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