House debates

Tuesday, 17 October 2023

Statements by Members

Cowper Electorate: Bushfires

1:33 pm

Photo of Pat ConaghanPat Conaghan (Cowper, National Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Social Services) Share this | | Hansard source

Overnight in my electorate of Cowper we saw a large bushfire engulf Willi Willi, Warbro Brook, Willawarrin, Mungay Flat, Temagog and Toorooka, and it has now burned close to 11,000 hectares. This morning I received very sad news that a well-loved and respected local man lost his life attempting to protect his family home. I cannot imagine how his loved ones are feeling today, and my thoughts and prayers go to them. I will be flying back this afternoon to assist in any way I can and be present for the impending briefings and action plans. The next week will be critical for the season ahead.

To my community, we've been there before. I know that after the 2019 fires many will be apprehensive and likely suffering the effects of PTSD, particularly those whose properties have only just begun to be revived. Please ask for help. Please ask how your friends, family and neighbours are. Please take heed of the instructions being provided by our incredible emergency services teams and do not—please do not—take any unnecessary risks. It's time to do what a community like ours does best: look out for each other, offer help to those in need and volunteer our time and our hands where they are needed most. We will once again get through this together.

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

I'm sure the House shares those condolences and concerns for your community.