Labor leader Bill Shorten has written to Tony Abbott, calling for the eligibility requirements for relief payments to bushfire victims to be ''urgently'' expanded.
In one of the first letters the new Opposition Leader has written to the Prime Minister, Mr Shorten has argued bushfire assistance needs to expand to include assistance for people who have been cut off from their homes or who have had no electricity or water.
Earlier this month, the Coalition enacted a disaster recovery payment to those whose home was destroyed or significantly damaged, to those who had been injured or who had had an immediate family member killed.
But the eligibility requirements for the payment of $1000 for eligible adults and $400 per child were narrower than similar payments enacted under the previous Labor government for disasters such as the Tasmanian bushfires and Tropical Cyclone Oswald earlier this year.
In his letter, written on Sunday, Mr Shorten noted that the Coalition payment did not provide support to those who could not get to their homes for at least 24 hours because access had been cut off, to people who had been stranded at home for at least 24 hours or who had been without a particular utility for a continuous 48 hours.
Last week, Labor frontbenchers described the narrowing of eligibility requirements as heartless.
At the time, a spokeswoman for Justice Minister Michael Keenan explained that said the government had set up the payment so that it would reach those most in need, most quickly.
She said the bushfire situation was still unfolding and that as it became clearer, the payment may be extended to other categories.
On Monday, Labor spokesman for Human Services Doug Cameron, who lives in the Blue Mountains area, said Mr Abbott should reconsider the government's position ''very quickly''.
''Our concern is that the people of the Blue Mountains are being treated differently from every other Australian who has been involved in an emergency situation in recent years,'' he told ABC Radio.
Senator Cameron said people in Yellow Rock had been unable to get to their homes for three to four days.
He also said that people had had no water or power and had needed to buy new school uniforms for their children.
''It's an act of political stupidity, I think to have done what the Coalition have done,'' Senator Cameron said.
A comment has been sought from Mr Abbott's office.