House debates

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Statements by Members

New South Wales: Bushfires

1:56 pm

Photo of Lucy WicksLucy Wicks (Robertson, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Our nation has witnessed dozens of terrible bushfires, including in New South Wales and also near my electorate of Robertson, where the Gospers Mountain fire has been burning through hundreds of thousands of acres of the Wollemi National Park. We're incredibly grateful to the firies and the RFS volunteers who have done such an outstanding job.

Among those affected by the fires are actually our animals and wildlife that have been displaced from their native habitats. The staff at the Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park in Calga have been working tirelessly with numbers of volunteers to evacuate hundreds of wildlife out of the park to safe homes until the threat passes. This included their two resident wombats, Aly and Hippo, who had to be airlifted by helicopter to the Featherdale Wildlife Park in Doonside. The staff at the Australian Reptile Park are also working to ensure that they're ready to evacuate wildlife if required.

With koala habitats completely devastated by the bushfires in northern New South Wales, I was pleased to announce last Friday that the Pearl Beach Arboretum has been successful in receiving a $20,000 grant from the federal government to go towards a detailed study to help reintroduce koala populations into Pearl Beach. This study, in partnership with the University of Sydney, really could not have come at a better time, and, hopefully, will provide koalas recovering at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, potentially, a new home on the Central Coast at some stage in the future.

In closing, I again thank all of our local firies and RFS volunteers on the Central Coast who have been on the frontline. We cannot thank you enough.