Tuesday 5 March 2019

Ms GARRETT (Eastern Victoria) (15:23:30): I am pleased to follow on from my colleague Ms Shing in paying tribute to all of the community members and emergency services personnel who have been dealing with the horrendous fires that have been raging and which continue to cause concern right across eastern Victoria. Over and over again we see the worst of times bring out the best in people, and we are seeing that as we speak. I pay tribute with just one story of so many of one of my team members, Mr Ian Maxfield, a former member for Narracan in the other place, who bravely battled Black Saturday and was geared up again to deal with the Drouin fires. He is a proud CFA volunteer. Thankfully his property and those of his neighbours are safe at the moment, but again I note the willingness of people to strap on the emergency services gear, get out and put their lives on the line to save others and others’ property and livestock. It was very reassuring to attend yesterday the community meeting at Pakenham, which was attended by hundreds and hundreds of the community. Minister Neville was there, as was the member for Bass, Ms Crugnale. It was terrific to see the community spirit alive and well with the support people were giving each other and the incredible information and support that was provided by all of our agencies. The emergency management commissioner, Mr Crisp, was there, which shows just how seriously of course our services are taking this. I wish all of those fighting the blazes well.