TRANSCRIPT FROM PARLIAMENT HOUSE SPEECH:
Ted O’Brien: So busy are the lives of everyday Australians that it sometimes takes a major event for us to pause; take a step back and reflect on how lucky we are and to remind ourselves how fundamentally decent, brave and generous our fellow Australians are.
Such an event occurred in my electorate of Fairfax only last month when on Thursday, 19 January, a small flame became a roaring inferno lasting five days and threatening Coolum, Peregian Springs and surrounding areas.
This fire would have become a catastrophe for not only properties but lives, if it were not for those who put themselves in harm’s way to protect others.
I rise today, in this our Federal Chamber, with a message to the Rural Fire Brigades of Doonan, Valdora, Maroochy River, Bli Bli, Eumundi, Maleny, Verridale, Ilkley, Lansborough, Beerwah, Kiel Mountain and Tinbeerwah and to the staff from the Rural Fire Service in Caloundra, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service and Sunshine Coast Council crews and also to that legendary aviation business McDermott Aviation. On behalf of this Parliament and on behalf of the Sunshine Coast community to who you serve, to who you protect, for you have protected us from the recent Coolum-Peregian Springs fires I offer my very sincere and heartfelt thank you.