As the one year anniversary of the bushfires that devastated the Blue Mountains community is upon us, I take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the emergency service men and women who assisted those affected by the disaster.
It was a community-wide effort and whether it is the service men and women who faced the wrath of the fires, those who assisted with evacuating residents or those who provided emergency assistance in the form of shelter, food or clothing, their contribution was appreciated and invaluable during the crisis.
I commend the efforts of the emergency service personnel who were present in the Blue Mountains community and assisted with the clean-up long after the last of the fires was extinguished. As the reality hit for many of the residents who lost everything, it was the support of the Rural Fire Service, the State Emergency Service and many other groups that provided peace of mind for the victims of this terrible tragedy.
Our hearts broke every time we heard news that another home had been destroyed and in true form, Australians united and donated money and goods at an unprecedented rate.
The rebuilding effort of the Blue Mountains community and their tenacity during what has been described as the worst disaster in their history is astounding. I praise the Blue Mountains community for rallying together during the recovery period. It is a testament to the Blue Mountains community and their strong sense of community spirit that many have decided to rebuild and begin a new chapter in the very place that they lost everything.
NSW Labor will continue to support the residents of the Blue Mountains as they go forward with their recovery efforts.