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Monday, 20 August 2018
Page: 7869

Mrs SUDMALIS (Gilmore) (16:32): We're often reminded that all of life is a series of checks and balances. There are great times countered with the not so great. There are times of inspiration and joy that can be countered by tragedy. Last Friday was a poignant example of exactly that. I visited the RFS Shoalhaven catering brigade to thank them for all their work in the local fires. I know how hard they work. I reminded Ingrid and Judy that I'd be a willing worker, as I have done in the past, if they needed me. They run a very tight operation, feeding dozens at a time without a hitch. Judy showed me all the donations that had been gathered by the students, parents and community of Milton Public School. I thank each and every one of you.

In addition I'd like to thank the following businesses for all their donations, Hayden's Pies, Milton Heritage Bakery, Ulladulla Baker's Delight, Annabelle's Cafe in Milton, Ulladulla Coles and East Nowra Bakery, who helped our firies in the North Nowra outbreak. The fires continue to burn with many crews, both local and more distant, being called on to bring them under control. Our whole community is grateful for the firies' amazing and tireless efforts.

But, as I said, my great joy and appreciation for my community is tinged with deep sadness. At the time I spoke to the operations crew at Milton, a tragic call, 'heli down, heli down' came in. Allan Tull, known as 'Tully' of Sydney Helicopters, who had been constantly water bombing the fires, lost his life when his helicopter came to grief. I send my sympathy and honour to the wife, family and friends of Allan Tull. Our community shares its grief with you.