House debates

Monday, 7 December 2020

Statements by Members

Fraser Island: Bushfire

4:34 pm

Photo of Llew O'BrienLlew O'Brien (Wide Bay, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

It's absolutely heartbreaking to see the devastation that's being wreaked on the flora, the fauna and the residents by the ongoing bushfire on Fraser Island in my electorate of Wide Bay. Fraser Island is internationally renowned for its pristine beaches, its magnificent forests and tranquil lakes and pools. It's home to over 40 species of mammals, 70 species of reptiles and 350 bird species, but over the last six weeks this fire has devoured more than 40 per cent of the island's land mass, destroying their habitat.

The fire is another blow to the island's tourism industry, following the COVID-19 pandemic, which has heavily impacted local tour operators and accommodation services, including Kingfisher Bay, a major employer on Fraser Island. Everyone, including the community and all levels of government, will need help for the island to recover. Disaster assistance is being made available by the Australian government to help with firefighting efforts. I pay tribute to everyone—

A division having been called in the House of Representatives—

Sitting suspended from 16:35 to 17:01

Photo of Sharon ClaydonSharon Claydon (Newcastle, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Thanks, colleagues. In accordance with standing order 43, the time for members' statements has concluded.