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Monday, 2 May 2016
Page: 4083

Ms SCOTT (Lindsay) (10:41): On Saturday night many people from the Penrith community came together to celebrate 65 years of the Llandilo volunteer rural fire brigade. Sixty-five years of the Llandilo volunteer rural fire brigade is a wonderful achievement for the men and women that have so loyally served the community. The event was attended by the Assistant Commissioner, Jason Heffernan, and Richard Petch from the local district command.

What many people may or may not realise about the Lindsay electorate is that we do sit nestled next to—in fact, in the foothills of—the Blue Mountains. When we have a fire disaster on our doorstep in the Blue Mountains, it is on the backs of many of our rural fire brigades in the Penrith region, which rally together to support our brothers and sisters under threat in the Blue Mountains. We saw that only a few years ago when volunteer firefighters came from right around the country and camped at Panthers to be able to go up and take shifts to fight the fires. Our local fire brigades are often the first to be on the scene and able to go up the mountains to help the fire brigades up there.

These 65 years are a phenomenal achievement, and I would really like to thank the men and women who have been working in our rural fire brigades. I would also like to echo the statements made on the night by the Assistant Commissioner, Jason Heffernan, when he called for more gender diversity within our rural fire service. Our rural fire service needs to reflect the communities that they defend and protect.

I would also like to acknowledge the work of people like Kevin Crameri. Kevin, a Llandilo man who has been on council for what seems like an eternity, has also spent the majority of his life working and supporting the Rural Fire Service at Llandilo. On the night, I also met Percy Denton. Percy won a number of awards for his support of the Rural Fire Service, including a life membership to the Rural Fire Service of New South Wales, which is a wonderful achievement.

I would like to thank all of the men and women who attended. I would like to thank the Rural Fire Service at Llandilo for the support that they do provide our community and, of course, all the rural fire services right across the Lindsay electorate. Although the summer months are coming to a close—and, thankfully, our community was kept safe over these summer months—as we go into the winter, some back-burning will occur. But I would just like to say to all of our rural fire services, 'Thank you for the work you do, and I look forward to working with you well into the future.'