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Monday, 25 November 2019
Page: 5557


Mr JOYCE (New England) (13:53): Fire is one of the more horrific elements of living in country areas. Over the recent break from parliament, I unfortunately had the experience of seeing one at my own parents' back door; in fact, it burned into my parents' back paddock. There is nothing more frightening than seeing the glow at night and wondering where that fire is, whether it's going to come over the ridge, how you're going to fight it, how you'll deal with spot fires, whether embers are going to fall on your house or on items around your house that can catch on fire, whether you've set up your fire plan to properly deal with it.

For me it was frightening, but the people of Wytaliba and Torrington actually lost their houses. Despite the meagre possessions in many of these towns, they lost everything they had. In Nowendoc yesterday I was talking to a friend. They've been blessed with about an inch of rain. That has saved the bacon of some people, but others have been burnt out. I remind those who have been burnt out that there is now $15,000 available—Minister Littleproud has announced that—to help people get back on their feet. It is to make sure that their businesses and lives are back up and running again. We hope that, in reflecting on these fires, we develop the policies that, in the future, will assist them to fight fires in a more able way.