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 3 BUSHFIRES

Mr Howard (Prime Minister) moved—That this House:

(1) extends its sympathies to all Australians who have suffered such grievous personal losses during the tragic bushfires throughout Australia over recent months, and particularly those in the Australian Capital Territory on 18 January 2003;

(2) acknowledges the tireless commitment of the thousands of individuals, including the rural and metropolitan fire brigades, emergency and rescue services, ambulance services, the defence force, police, welfare groups, government agencies, councils and businesses from across the country, who were involved in fighting these fires;

(3) expresses its enduring gratitude and admiration to these Australians, many of whom are volunteers, for their efforts and sacrifices and in particular acknowledges the bravery of those who risked their lives in fighting the fires; and

(4) recognises that the way that communities heroically pulled together in a time of crisis truly demonstrates the strength of the Australian spirit.

Debate ensued.

Question—put and passed.