Two-minute statement

29 February 2024

I rise in recognition of our hardworking volunteer firefighters who continue to battle the bushfires currently taking place in my home state of Victoria.

I know I speak on behalf of all Victorians and everyone in the chamber when I say ‘thank you’, as I take a few moments to acknowledge their tireless efforts. I’m talking about those courageous men and women who freely give up their time to respond to fire and other emergencies in Victoria.

Firefighting presents significant hazards—injury, poor visibility and sudden wind changes—and the role is very demanding, both physically and emotionally. Even after the bushfire season, the volunteers are on hand to assist, providing training and raising important funds for their local community and local fire stations.

Volunteering is one of the best ways one can find real purpose in society. It builds the cultural and social fabric of many local towns, and there’s no greater satisfaction than helping those in your own community.

Victorians know that, when disaster strikes, our brave emergency volunteers are on the front line ready to lend a hand. There is no doubt the efforts of our emergency services volunteers will inspire many other people to contribute to other causes they feel strongly about.

In recent weeks, several communities in the Wimmera region of western Victoria have faced extreme fire conditions. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to our volunteers for their camaraderie, for their bravery and for bringing out the best in our community.

Thanks to all our volunteer firefighters in the Country Fire Authority, including the Victorian State Emergency Service and the Forest Fire Management Victoria for their enormous contribution to our great state.