Thursday, 9 February 2023

Members statements

Springvale temple fire

Springvale temple fire

Lee TARLAMIS (South-Eastern Metropolitan) (09:46): It was heartbreaking to see the destruction of the beautiful and iconic Bright Moon Buddhist Society temple in Springvale South by fire early this week. I express my condolences to all those affected by this tragedy. I cannot begin to fathom the immense grief the Buddhist community in my electorate are experiencing as they grapple with the loss of this spiritual site and the uncertainty it has created about their loved ones’ ashes. I am only relieved that no-one was injured, and I would like to thank the local emergency services for the diligent work in keeping our communities safe.

Built with hard work and community activism, this temple is a shining beacon of harmony and spirituality in our community. The Buddhist community make an immeasurable contribution to our state. Their traditions, festivals and festivities are vibrant and spirited, and it is through communities like theirs that we can unite and continue to build a more cohesive and diverse Victoria. Although they are going through a very difficult time right now, this fire will not lessen their resolve. Rather, it will unite the wider community in shared grief and a determination to build back stronger. I am confident that the community, with their passion, drive and determination, will see this temple resurrected and once again become the significant place for worship for Buddhists in Melbourne’s south-east.

I know the Premier has made a commitment to stand with the temple in their recovery journey, and I also stand with the Bright Moon society community in any way possible to ensure that the recovery is swift and as uncomplicated as possible. I am with you side by side on this journey of grief and renewal, and I know that my good friend in the other place Meng Heang Tak is also. Thank you to the temple president Mr Vinh Loi Ly, the committee and the volunteers for your amazing work to support and console the community during their time of need. Your efforts are greatly appreciated, and our thoughts and best wishes are with you all.

Sitting suspended 9:48 am until 10:12 am.