Mr MELHEM (Western Metropolitan) — Today, 7 February, we remember Black Saturday nine years ago when 173 Victorians lost their lives, 414 were injured and over 400 individual fires were raging in Victoria. It is a day to reflect on the life lost on that tragic day. It was the worst tragedy in history in Victoria resulting from bushfires. I just want to reflect on and remember those people who lost their lives and also pay tribute to and remember the people still suffering from that tragic event nine years ago. I know that a lot of people and a lot of friends were affected by that tragic event, and I hope that that will not repeat itself.

I also want to pay tribute to the firefighting services personnel, whether the volunteers or the career firefighters employed by the Country Fire Authority. We often forget the firefighters who wear the green uniform employed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, the forest firefighters, who year in, year out put their lives in danger and in harm’s way to basically keep us safe and protected. I commend them as well for the great work they have done this year. Touch wood, hopefully we will get through this season without any major incidents. I just want to conclude by again paying tribute to and remembering those people who lost their lives and the people still suffering from that tragic event.

7 February 2018