Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Questions without notice and ministers statements

Ministers statements: floods

Ministers statements: floods

Jaclyn SYMES (Northern Victoria – Attorney-General, Minister for Emergency Services) (16:17): I rise to update the house on the response to and the recovery from the devastating flood event that commenced in our state in October and continues to impact large parts of our state. While the sun is out and it might be difficult to connect to communities right across Victoria who are still facing enormous challenges, including ongoing flooding, clean-up and plenty of recovery, it is something that many people are still focused on. I would like to particularly start by acknowledging, sadly, that two Victorians lost their lives in this flood event.

I also want to pay immense tribute, personal tribute, to the many, many people who gave their effort to responding, particularly our emergency services, including SES, CFA, FRV, FFMVic, Victoria Police, Life Saving Victoria and Ambulance Victoria, as well as many, many people who came from other states to lend a hand. Any major disaster is challenging, but our emergency services were incredible, and as I said, their efforts are ongoing. The SES has responded to over 17,000 requests for assistance. This is certainly a record in our state for any emergency.

It is obvious that communities are going to take some time to recover. They face a very long road in that endeavour, but I have seen firsthand how resilient these communities are – resilience where you would expect resilience to be gone. It is pretty unbelievable how people continue to come together, and I will probably use the opportunity many times to talk about people I have met in relation to the flood response around the state. But I did want to give a shout-out to people in Rochester. Rochester is a town that has been largely impacted. I will continue to update the house in relation to that community’s recovery, but I just do want to say that the women at the neighbourhood house there were phenomenal – Amanda, Jane, Cate and Hannah – standing up for that community, pulling things together in a role that was not necessarily part of their job description. But the community just really needed that support, and those women have been phenomenal. (Time expired)