On Sunday, 15 November, I was in Nelson in the south-west of Victoria to
officially open a $200 000 Country Fire Authority community facility and hand
over a $92 000 tanker that will help the Nelson CFA brigade protect the
community during a bushfire season that threatens to be every bit as bad as or
worse than last year.
I congratulate the community, which raised over $20 000 for
both the community facility and the tanker. It is an extraordinary result,
particularly given the small population of Nelson. I congratulate Steve
Sylvester, the captain of the Nelson CFA brigade, on his leadership and his
efforts to bring about access to the bore for the tanker, as well as on the new
recruits who were inducted on the day.
Fire preparation requires a partnership between government,
emergency services and Victorian communities, and Nelson is well situated to set
a high benchmark in doing this. On the morning I was at Nelson it was evident
that the whole of the community was involved in clearing along the riverbanks
and into the hinterlands that border the town’s boundaries. It is inspirational
and a worthy case study for many other communities in Victoria.