Protesters who fear there is a climate change related state of emergency in drought-stricken, bushfire-ravaged Australia have clashed with federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton outside his Dubbo office.
On December 11 - the same day a major climate emergency rally was held in Sydney - about six Dubbo residents protested for about an hour outside Mr Coulton's Brisbane street office.
The group questioned whether the federal government was doing enough to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change.
Mr Coulton said he told protesters their actions were "not very helpful".
"I actually think holding a sign up and waving at cars as they drive through at 6.30 on a weeknight in Dubbo is a very ineffective way to handle climate change," he said.
"I don't have to agree with everyone that comes to me, I was polite and respectful. I did point out I was more responsive to people who were doing practical things."
Protest organiser Noni Kuhner said Mr Coulton left the group feeling like they were "brushed aside because we weren't supporting the Nationals' position".
"We just got basically told that what we were doing didn't matter and that he didn't care and that's not the way that an MP should react to members of his constituency standing up and saying 'we think that there is a problem and we want to know what you are going to do about it'," she said.
"The way that we were just brushed off, it made me really really angry."
Ms Kuhner said while protesting would "not necessarily" make a difference to the government's climate change policies, it was a way to highlight genuine environmental concerns people had.
According to Mr Coulton, Australia's current weather woes are not unprecedented.
"The idea that this is somehow unprecedented is not correct," he claimed despite there being overwhelming evidence from climate experts and organisations like NASA who have reported the climate is changing at an unprecedented rate.
"I just read an article out of a newspaper in the late 1800s where 400 people died in Australia during a heatwave, prior to having air conditioning," Mr Coulton told Australian Community Media.
"We've had fires in my lifetime, where hundreds of people have lost their lives, most recently in Victoria in 2009."
Mr Coulton said he understood residents were worried about the drought and bushfires, but claimed the government was acting effectively to reduce carbon emissions and increase usage of renewable energy sources like wind and solar.
Ms Kuhner claimed Australia should be "taking initiative" and doing more to encourage the global community to reduce emissions.