The Statement below was read into Parliament today by the Member for Roe, Mr Peter Rundle MLA.
BUSHFIRES — STIRLING RANGE NATIONAL PARK
On Boxing Day last year, a fire was sparked by lightening in Stirling Range National Park. More than 200 firefighters worked in dangerous and challenging conditions for a week to contain the fire, which eventually burnt 40 000 hectares.
Farms, homes and business were threatened. Business owners and residents were evacuated during the fire and, upon returning, they faced financial uncertainty with business activities dropping up to 80 per cent due to low visitor and tourist numbers.
The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions is working hard to repair tracks and to ensure visitor safety. DBCA is also bringing in teams from across the state.
Thank you to the business owners, shires and department representatives who shared their stories and highlighted this issue when I visited in January.
I give special thanks to Bob Jarvis CEO and Fiona Gaze at the Shire of Gnowangerup; Peter Hartley and the Stirling Range National Park rangers for allowing us access to sites; Margot and John Byrne from Mt Trio Bush Camp and Caravan Park; Jax and Chris Thomas at the Bluff Knoll Cafe; Virginia Hammer at the Stirling Range Retreat; Carol and Dave Caldwell at the Amelup Roadhouse; Pleun and Hennie Hitzert at the Lily Dutch Windmill. To Margot Byrne at Mt Trio Bush and Wayne Davis of the Borden Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade, thank you for emphasising the urgency for a heavy duty fire truck in the area for which I will continue to advocate.
I will continue to call on the Minister for Emergency Services to notify the federal government of WA postcodes affected by bushfire, and ask for him to do his job.