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Wednesday, 3 April 2019
Page: 14618

Mr BROADBENT (McMillan) (13:48): We have had an horrific fire centred around the Bunyip State Park forest. To say that it was not tested that we would lose life in that fire is a lie. It was dangerous. We did lose 29 homes, and those people are being helped as best they can through their state member, Gary Blackwood, and the Victorian state government. There were some minor miracles in that fire. The enormity of this bushfire—usually, when a front comes through, it comes through at 70 kays an hour and it was completely benign; completely benign. If it wasn't for the work of Ivan Smith—and I note the partners of fire people that go out, men and women. I'm sure they fear the worst and hope for the best as their firemen go into the field. But Stephen Keating, Jude Kennedy and John Painter, along with Ivan Smith, used their contingencies, their abilities and their knowledge of former fires to arrange the resources in this campaign against this horrific fire to make a difference and save the property and, probably, the lives of hundreds of people. We were in a very difficult position when these four men were standing in fire zone central and organising how they would confront that fire. The way they did their job should be commended, and I commend them today.