Members Statement – Bushfires

I want to thank the thousands of v olunteer firefighters who faced one of Western Australia’s biggest challenges in fighting the enormous and complex fires that threatened Northcliffe and Boddington . The Northcliffe fire burnt 98,000 hectares— th e biggest bushfire in the south- west sin ce the Dwellingup fires of 1961. The Boddington fire burned 52, 000 hectares . Volunteer and career f irefighters worked more than 96, 000 hours to contain and control these fires .

Firefighters came from Yarloop and Harvey in the north of the electorate and from Allanson, Collie, Dardanup, Do nnybrook and Nannup in the east. From the south , they came from Augusta, Alexander Br idge, Karridale and Margaret River. F rom the west coastal part of the electorate , firefighters came fro m Yallingup, Busselton, Bunbury and Leschenault . F rom central areas , the brigades came from Ferguson, Waterloo, Brunswick, Dardanup and Eaton .

It was an outstanding on-the-ground logistical provision of equipment and resourcing effort given to saving communities, properties and livestock . There were teams of other people working around the clock to ensure that the firefighters, emergency services and other volunteers had sustenance and somewhere to rest between shifts . We cannot survive without these people . They deserve our deepest gratitude and respect for their commitment and hard work. I also thank the employers who encouraged their workers to be part of the emergency volunteer groups and the families who support ed them. These services are the difference between life and death in rural and regional areas. Firefighters protect our property and frequently put their own lives at risk, making personal sacrifices to do so. As a nation, we are eternally grateful to this outstanding group of volunteers.