Sydney fire refugee joins climate protest

Heather McNab

After 30 years living on Sydney's Northern Beaches, Benjamin Huie has gathered up pre-packed boxes labelled "fire" and sought refuge in the CBD with his wife and son.

Mr Huie is among those around NSW who decided to leave their homes as the state battles unprecedented fires and parts of the state - across the Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter and Illawarra-Shoalhaven regions - come under catastrophic fire danger on Tuesday.

Authorities are particularly concerned about urban fringe areas around Sydney - which includes Mr Huie's family home in Great Mackerel Beach which borders Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park.

While the 57-year-old originally wanted to stay and defend his home, he was talked out of it by his wife and children.

"I understand that in these conditions once the wind picks up at midday an ember can come from a very long way away," Mr Huie told AAP on Tuesday.

"It was more about not about what was going on there now, but more about the conditions and the almost inevitability of of something going awry."

Mr Huie said his property backs directly onto bush and the possibility of fire was "something we live with anyway".

"I have boxes that say 'fire' on them which means this is to go," he said.

"I'm very anxious about it, I have the Rural Fire Service app and I keep track of that, every half an hour I have a look.

"There's nothing I can do about it now, they're not going to let me back."

Mr Huie chose to spend Tuesday morning outside state parliament at a rally demanding more resources for the NSW Rural Fire Service and protesting a bill relating to mining approvals and greenhouse gas emissions.

The bill curtails the power of planning authorities to consider climate pollution regarding new coal and gas projects.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has hit back at questions linking fires raging around NSW to climate change, insisting now is not the time to discuss the issue.

However, Mr Huie said there has never been a better time to talk about climate change.

"We do understand that these bushfires aren't caused by climate change, but they are encouraged by climate change, the changing climate creates better conditions for these things to exist and when you have a day like today, on top of everything - it is out of hand," he said.

A traditionally conservative voter, Mr Huie said those gathered at the protest were closer to his political outlook than his party.

"I'm a conservative, I'm a Menzies guy, and this is not my party - these people (at the protest) are closer to my party certainly than the federal government are, they are way off to the right," Mr Huie said.

However, he said he isn't seeing "even a little bit" of conservative action on climate change.

"A conservative would want to be sure, would want to be safe, and would want to take action before it happens so you're not just lying back and going, 'oh, here it all comes'," he said.