House debates

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Statements by Members

Western Australia: COVID-19, Western Australia: Bushfires

1:50 pm

Photo of Celia HammondCelia Hammond (Curtin, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

This week, hundreds of school students in WA were set to return to school for a new and exciting year, including about 30,000 in my electorate and two in my house. Backpacks that had been left untouched for weeks were found, hopefully with no skanky bananas left in the bottom from last year; new school shoes had been bought, and uniforms searched for, located, washed and maybe ironed, depending on the house. But, of course, all of this was quickly overshadowed by the announcement on Sunday that WA was entering into a five-day lockdown. And a raging bushfire had started in a beautiful part of our city—a fire which is reported to have destroyed over 71 houses, is causing dark smoke clouds all over the city and is dropping ash everywhere. It's yet to be brought under control.

The combination of these two events is very challenging for all of us in Western Australia. Those of us who are older have more experience at dealing with challenges, but we can still succumb to feelings of isolation, hopelessness and despair. It is vital that people recognise these signs in themselves and others and seek appropriate help. More importantly, we need to look for warning signs in our children and youth. They were anticipating one sort of week, and they got an entirely different sort of week—a sort of week that would shake even the most resilient of children. Just as we've done before, we need to take care of ourselves and join together as a community to look out for each other.