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Thursday, 21 November 2013
Page: 1097


Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (10:05): I want to take the opportunity this morning in this House to recognise and pay tribute to some great community builders in the Casey electorate. First, I would like to inform the House about the 30th anniversary celebration for the Reefton Country Fire Authority. Reefton is a small country town in the heart of the Yarra Valley on the Warburton Highway beyond Warburton. It is one of the most fire prone towns in the Yarra Valley. The CFA, in celebrating their 30th anniversary, looked back on all that they had achieved. It was also a time to present some medals relating to the 2009 Black Saturday fires.

Those from Victoria, in particular—including my colleague across the table, the member for Bendigo—know that a CFA formed 30 years ago would have been formed in the wake of the terrible Ash Wednesday fires, and that is the case with Reefton. In the 2009 Black Saturday fires a number of members of the Reefton CFA performed an extraordinary feat in rescuing a resident who was in great danger. The anniversary celebration was a time for National Emergency Medals to be presented to those members of the CFA who had shown outstanding courage. They included Danny Bennett, Andrew McDonald, Andrew Kane, Ross Minifie, Kathy Tilley, and Rachel Bennett. Those medals were presented by me, the Mayor of the Shire of Yarra Ranges, Jim Child, and a number of others from CFA headquarters, including the Regional Director, David Baker.

The event was also a wonderful opportunity to honour service across the 30 years. A number of members were recognised. A 30-year service award went to Ross Minifie, who has been there for every day of the Reefton CFA's existence. Andrew Kane, Andy McDonald, Cathy McDonald, Danny Bennett and Susan Holman were recognised for 10 years of service. A five-year service award went to Zoey McDonald, Kathy Tilley, Rachel Bennett Jedda Edwards and Jane Abbott. It was also a time to recognise members of the junior brigade—the next generation who will, in the next 10, 20 and 30 years, serve the Reefton CFA and the wider Reefton community. Reefton is a small town but it is a passionate town, and I was very pleased to be able to attend the event on Sunday, 6 October on behalf of the electorate of Casey. In this House I want to thank all of those at the Reefton CFA for all that they have done and congratulate them on the work that they do for the benefit of the community.

Briefly, on another subject, I want to make mention of another event that occurred in the Casey electorate just last Saturday at Phil Munday's Panel Works. Phil Munday is a renowned community contributor and he decided to host at his business a number of V8 supercars and classic cars, all with the purpose of raising money for juvenile diabetes, a cause that all of us here in this House lend our support to. On the day $15,000 was raised, with people paying entry to see the V8 supercars and classic cars. There were lots of raffles. There was even a pit crew and a tyre-changing event that I participated in. Deputy Speaker, you will be pleased to know I did a bit better than you would have expected!