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Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Page: 37

Mr WILKIE (Denison) (14:23): The Black Tuesday Tasmanian bushfires are, to this very day, the state's deadliest fires and one of Australia's worst. In total, 110 fires burned throughout large parts of southern Tasmania, including the Derwent Valley, Glenorchy, Hobart, Kingborough and the Huon Valley. The fires stretched from Hamilton and Bothwell down to Snug and the D'Entrecasteaux Channel. Tragically, 64 people died and some 900 were injured. About 1,500 homes and other buildings, and a similar number of vehicles, were destroyed. Stock losses amounted to approximately 62,000.

Near where I live, terrific little Fern Tree was virtually wiped off the map, with about two-thirds of the houses destroyed, along with the hotel, the shop and the parish hall. But as is often the case, out of these dreadful events came stories of great heroics and extraordinary generosity—of neighbours helping neighbours and strangers helping strangers.

Today, on the 50th anniversary of Black Tuesday, we remember all those who lost their lives, as well the thousands of families affected. We have deep respect for what they endured and thank the survivors for how they rebuilt their lives and laid the foundation of today's Tasmania.