Tuesday, 21 February 2023

Questions without notice and ministers statements

Ministers statements: bushfires commemoration

Ministers statements: bushfires commemoration

Ingrid STITT (Western Metropolitan – Minister for Early Childhood and Pre-Prep, Minister for Environment) (12:22): I rise to acknowledge the recent anniversaries of the Ash Wednesday and the Black Saturday fires, and in doing so I would like to acknowledge the significant impacts of these events on so many Victorians right across the state.

Our uniquely skilled Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) team, made up of staff from across the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) and Parks Victoria, keep communities safe year round by reducing the risk and impact of bushfires in Victoria’s parks and forests and of course right across our public land estate. They also play a crucial role in responding to other emergencies, including the recent flood events.

I had the absolute privilege recently of visiting the staff at our Marysville depot to see firsthand the work they do to keep our communities safe, and I was really grateful to Peter, Chris, Jarrod and Tom, who generously shared their experiences fighting some of the worst fires in Victoria’s history and what drives them to continue to do that work to this day. Victoria has a world-leading forest fire management approach, and it was great to hear firsthand from the team about the complex science that informs the work that they do and the innovative use of data to identify areas most at risk.

It was also really great to meet a young group of mostly female trainees who were learning to operate those massive heavy tankers. I am advised that they all successfully passed their training, so a huge congratulations to our next generation of forest firefighters. The teams at DEECA, FFMVic and Parks Victoria are amongst the best in the world at what they do, and I would like to thank them for working with the community and traditional owners to keep all Victorians safe.