House debates

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Statements by Members

Calare Electorate: Australia Bushfires

10:33 am

Photo of Andrew GeeAndrew Gee (Calare, National Party, Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education) Share this | | Hansard source

I've spoken in the House before about the firefighting effort in the Calare electorate. Our fireys and emergency services personnel were simply outstanding, but so too were the huge numbers of volunteers and community members who supported them during this awful fire season. Time does not permit me to name all of the volunteers in our region who worked so hard to get our communities through such a devastating time, but I would like to acknowledge some of them here today.

In the Rylstone area, Kate and Stacey Lobley started preparing meals from the local fire shed, which grew into a whole-of-community effort when the local Rotary Club pitched in and started offering 24/7 meals out of the kitchen of the Rylstone Showground. The Rotary Club of Rylstone Kandos managed to deliver 2,900 meals in less than 22 days to sustain our fireys while they battled the blazes. Everyone was welcome—fireys, aircrew, police, ambos—from the crack of dawn until late at night.

The members of the Oakes family—Robyn and Gary and their children Rachel, Gemma, Glen and Rhys—were simply outstanding and played a very significant role in delivering thousands of meals to tired and weary fireys and other volunteers. Even their son-in-law, Peadar Cusack, who was visiting from Ireland, joined in the volunteering effort.

I also wish to acknowledge Klaus Keck, President of the Rotary Club of Rylstone Kandos, and the members of the club who were there day in, day out, including Graham Jose, Greg Bennet, David Connell, Carol Heilman, David Fuller, Janell Cole, Marion Crossman, Margaret Jose, David Roach, Amanda Roach, Peter Hatfield and Phillip Freeman. To the family and partners of Rotarians, Margaret Connell, Nancy Keck, Helen Fuller, Chantelle Dimano, Lavina Inglis, Devonti Dimano, Isayah Picatoste and Marley Inglis: we thank you.

Also, to the wonderful community volunteers, including Alicia Kerney, Sharon McKay, Chelsea McKay, Di Kearney, Stacey Philpott, Nat Bowles, Julie Wilson, Di Yates, Colin Simpson, Yvonne Reitsma, Brodie Mundey, Bec Mackander, Alannah Rankin, Renee Gardner, Larissa Kerney, Lyn Ludwick, Bonnie Hunter-Howe, Stacey Johnston, Kim Clarke, Ian Turner, Manfred Daniel, Karan Daniel, Jesse Daniel, Rachel Johnson, Tom Milton, Ann Milton, Kate Johnson, Amanda Herbert, Jacob Herbert, Dian Gillespie, Bron Maker, Alison Oldfield, Jodie Carver, Wendy Cross, Lynne Danson, Felicity Creswell, Jane Young, Jo Muir, Lorna Anderson and Bill Norris: we thank you most profusely.

Over at the Ilford and Running Stream hall, I'd like to thank community members Kellie Benjamin, Kelly Lilley, Christine Reeves, Denise Stafford, Denise Sim, Jane Young, John and Faith Cauchi, Chris and Sissey Reynolds, Amy Weatherley, Sue and Greg Garlinge, Peter Hay, Sarah Lodewijks, Melissa Lodewijks, Louise Wakefield, Penny Golden, Glynis Lilley, Leonie McFarlane, Darryl Clapham, Toby and Kate Dupaire, Fiona McDonald and Buzz Sanderson, Audrey Rutter, Tania Selby, Jacqui Wakefield, Wendy Dobbin, Michelle and Noel Smith, Wendy Chadwick, Sharni Mord, Gavin Mcdonald, and Jacqui and Ian Waddell and their daughters, Lucy and Amy, for this wonderful effort that helped get our communities through this very difficult and trying time.

10:36 am

Photo of Nick ChampionNick Champion (Spence, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I'd like to extend my condolences to all who have suffered through a very brutal bushfire season, and, in my home state of South Australia, those people and communities who have suffered through both the Kangaroo Island and Cudlee Creek fires. To say that this has been a profoundly difficult experience to go through is an understatement. I know because my previous electorate, Wakefield, went through a terrible fire, the Pinery fire, only a couple of years ago. These are terrible times, and we thank all who have been and are involved in dealing with these fires. It's very confronting for volunteer firefighters and units. I think the intensity of these fires is something that is new, and so we in this parliament, including the government, should be providing them with all the support they need.

My local brigades, both Dalkeith CFS under captain Clint Marsh, and the Salisbury CFS under captain Ken Potter, have done a lot of firefighting in the community over many years, and I thank those brigades for their efforts, along with all the brigades within the boundaries of my previous electorate—in Gawler River, which is just across the border, and all of those north of that, including my home town, Kapunda; and Greenock. As I said before, the intensity of these fires means that we have to properly look at the sort of equipment that we provide to these brigades.

I'd also like to thank the local Hazara community, including the Wali ASR Centre and Imam Mehdi, and the Baba Mazara Foundation and Imam Ali, for raising $87,444 in funds for bushfire relief. These are very proud Australians. They work very hard and they're very, very keen on making sure that they give back to their new nation. This bushfire season, they were as affected as everybody else by the intensity of these fires and the loss of lives, homes and communities. So they really set out to raise as much money as they could for our communities. It's a fairly mighty figure, $87,000, and I would like to congratulate them on their efforts—and it would be good, too, if they could continue!