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Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Page: 1270

Mrs D'ATH (PetrieParliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency) (09:39): I rise this morning to put on the record the tremendous efforts of emergency workers in Moreton Bay and volunteer members of the QF3 Redcliffe Coast Guard during and after the damaging storms, winds and floods experienced throughout Queensland last month. My electorate follows the coastline in the Moreton Bay region, where many local suburbs suffered significant damage. Roads were closed, power was lost and trees came down. The clean-up and repair efforts are ongoing and will be for some time.

I know trained SES workers were on the ground immediately in the Moreton Bay region. I would like to recognise their contribution to our community. They were sandbagging, helping residents with damaged houses, removing debris and picking up trees. The SES was established in Queensland in 1975 and provides invaluable support to other emergency services such as police and ambulance. Volunteer members are trained in a range of support activities including storm damage operations, search operations, communications, first aid and operations management. The Moreton Bay region SES unit has six SES groups supporting the community and other agencies in severe storm operations, flood operations, land search operations and agency support—supporting the Queensland Police Service, the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service and the Queensland Ambulance Service.

On behalf of the community, I take this opportunity to say to our SES workers, most of whom are volunteers: thank you for helping to keep us safe. I also acknowledge the efforts of members of QF3 Coast Guard Redcliffe, both during the recent wild weather and in their work during the 2011 Queensland floods. In fact, the commitment and dedication of these volunteers during 2011 was officially recognised at the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Awards ceremony at Redcliffe on Australia Day this year, just as the next set of storms headed our way.

I extend my sincere congratulations to the 13 volunteers who were awarded their National Emergency Medal for their service rendered in response to a national significant emergency. They were: Don Boscoe, Russ Eager, Peter Hackett, Roy King, Paul Klingner, Bart McLeod, John Osberg, Merv Porteous, Alex Robinson, Peter Slaughter, Vince Turco, Col Ward and, posthumously, Tony Burns. It was then straight back to work for members of the QF3 Coast Guard, who spent most of the 2013 Australia Day weekend dealing with storms and tidal surges while our region felt the impact of Cyclone Oswald and rare mini tornadoes.

These volunteers deserve our respect and admiration and I am very pleased to be able to recognise them here today. I also recognise the efforts of their counterparts up and down the coastline of Queensland, particularly in Bundaberg, where the city has experienced the worst flooding in its history. Finally, I am looking forward to attending the Rotary International Emergency Services Appreciation Night next week, hosted by the combined Rotary clubs of the Redcliffe Peninsula. This special evening enables our community to show our appreciation and recognition for the contributions made by the Redcliffe emergency service agencies, the leaders of those agencies and the volunteers—those who risk their lives time and again to keep us safe when natural disasters strike.