Mr PASIN (Barker) (13:56): The bushfires in Queensland are a timely reminder to stay vigilant as summer begins. I want to give a shout out to the hundreds of firefighting volunteers from South Australia who joined efforts in Queensland in the last couple of weeks. It’s in the true Aussie spirit, the spirit of volunteers, that they were ready and willing to travel into dangerous and often life-threatening situations to battle fires that threatened the homes and towns of communities that weren’t their own, such is the dedication of our firefighting volunteers.
As I pick up editions of my local papers, I’m reading stories about local CFS volunteers heading off to help crews in Queensland. Our firefighting volunteers make up such an important part of so many regional communities across the country. It’s especially poignant today as we celebrate International Volunteer Day. The theme for International Volunteer Day 2018 is ‘volunteers build resilient communities’, recognising volunteers worldwide with a special focus on local community volunteers. I can’t think of a better example of volunteerism than those brave women and men from my community who have travelled interstate to put themselves in harm’s way.
To all the volunteer firefighters across our nation we appreciate your dedication and we appreciate your hard work in often dangerous, life threatening conditions, and particularly to those that have left their families, their homes and their communities to help others.