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South Australian Bushfires

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (16:45): I rise today to briefly speak on this motion. I do not want to repeat what has already been put on the record about the terrible statistics of the bushfires that have ravaged not only our state but the entire country, but I did want to convey my sympathy and sorrow for those who have lost family, friends, pets and property. The images that have been broadcast online, on television and in the newspapers are heartbreaking, and I cannot begin to imagine having to experience such loss.

I commend our courageous emergency services workers for their tireless efforts and their admirable determination to help our communities. The images show the harrowing circumstances they faced and where they triumphed against the most difficult of conditions. It is important to also remember those families and friends who have supported those on the front line by maintaining the household, washing uniforms, looking after pets, cooking meals. These may seem to be very simple acts, but those who undertake the riskiest jobs would not be able to do what they do if they were not supported.

I stood in this place last year admitting that, whilst I have witnessed bushfires throughout my 82 years on this earth, I now acknowledge that they are getting worse because of man-made climate change. As the policymakers, we owe it to our community to make changes so that we can start to wind back the damage that has been done. Some say it may be too late; however, we owe it to everyone who has had to live with the fear of a bushfire, flood or earthquake destroying their home to at least try. With that, I support the motion.