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Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Page: 37

Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:26): I thank the member for Denison for reminding the House of this anniversary. This day, 7 February—a Tuesday in 1967, a Saturday in 2009—is seared in the memories of Tasmanians and Victorians alike. Black Tuesday remains the worst bushfire in Tasmanian history. Sixty-two Tasmanians lost their lives and over 900 were injured. Thousands more lost homes, pets, crops, livestock and those other countless treasures that fires claim: the photo albums, the films, the scrapbooks, the handmade memories and heirlooms gone for good. In their place was the imprint of fear: the memories of lost loved ones, narrow escapes, the heart-stopping recall of a last-minute decision to flee that nearly was not made.

Now 50 years is more than enough time to replant crops, to regrow trees, to rebuild homes and communities. But for many Tasmanians time will have not faded the memories, dimmed the sadness or eased the pain. We stand with them today.