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Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Page: 140


Ms OWENS (Parramatta) (13:51): In case you missed, today is Wear Orange Wednesday. On this day, all Australians are encouraged to wear orange in a united show of thanks for the tremendous work and commitment shown by the 43,000 State Emergency Service volunteers across the country, people who voluntarily dedicate hours of their week to train or assist in operations in their local communities. We all know that the SES is primarily responsible for flood and storm operations, but they also provide the majority of general rescue efforts in parts of rural New South Wales. When the bushfires so recently devastated the Blue Mountains, the SES units from Holroyd and Parramatta in my electorate were there, providing help to the Rural Fire Service, taking calls at the RFS Hawkesbury headquarters, helping to doorknock to make sure residents were evacuated safely and heading out to Springwood to cut down trees made dangerous by the bushfires.

My SES guys are good at what they do. Earlier this year Parramatta SES ended the Hawkesbury's 25-year reign as the regional winners of the Western Sydney SES Biannual Rescue Competition. The competition is based upon a significant flash flood similar to that of an inland tsunami.

I would like to commend all those who volunteer at both Holroyd and Parramatta State Emergency Service units, and more broadly those who volunteer across the country. Thank you for your selfless and compassionate nature and thank you for your efforts. Our local communities would not be what they are today without you.