Jul 18

Premier praises fire brigades

The Premier, Mike Baird, and Blue Mountains MP Roza Sage with Susie McGregor from South Katoomba and David Bosworth from Megalong RFS brigades.The NSW premier met with volunteers preparing for the bushfire season at the Katoomba Fire Control Centre last week, just two days before many of them rallied to fight the Cliff Drive fire.

Members of the RFS, SES, Rotary, Salvation Army, Red Cross and other groups shared a cup of tea, sandwiches and cakes with Mike Baird and Member for Blue Mountains, Roza Sage.

Mr Baird said he was delighted to be in the Mountains.

“It’s a real privilege to be here. The Blue Mountains community has proven its resilience since last year’s firestorm and it’s fantastic to visit the region to see the progress made over the past 12 months,” Mr Baird said.

“RFS volunteers, among others, risked their lives protecting residents in this world heritage-listed area, and are again preparing for another bushfire season.”

Mr Baird said he visited the Mountains a couple of weeks after the fires last October “and I have never seen anything like it.

“All the people there, all you could see was their heart, their hearts going out to everyone. It was all about that person in front of them.”

He said the volunteers had helped Mountains residents “through some of the most difficult situations they have faced. It’s amazing what you did and you should be very proud.

“On behalf of the NSW government, I am here to say thank you. I want every volunteer to know the thoughts of residents across the state are with them as they head into what’s expected to be another hot summer.”

Mrs Sage, who hosted the reception, said the Mountains had a “huge history of volunteering, in fact 24 per cent of the population are registered volunteers”.

She thanked those who give up their time to protect their families and neighbours.

“The determination of volunteers across the Blue Mountains was highlighted during last year’s emergency and their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed,” Mrs Sage said.

“Our volunteers provide us with a feeling of security as we head into summer and for that the premier and I would like to say thank you,” Mrs Sage said.

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