Since the last time this Parliament met, a number of horrific events have occurred beyond the borders of this state. In particular I wish to speak on the devastating earthquake in Nepal.
The number of lives lost from this disaster continues to rise, with the latest news reports stating a figure over 7300 . The number of people injured is more than 14 500. The loss of life and the number of people injured is of historic proportions, and I am sure that everyone in this chamber would join with me in conveying their most heartfelt concerns and condolences. Our thoughts are with the families who have lost loved ones, and those who still do not know whether their loved ones have survived.
I take this opportunity to encourage my colleagues to join in and provide financial support towards the relief effort in Nepal, a task that is currently being undertaken in very difficult topography. Many of us simply cannot comprehend how a rescue and relief mission could possibly operate in that environment. The task at hand is enormous, and it is at times like this that we are reminded of the importance of organisations like Oxfam. With this in mind, I encourage everyone to make a contribution to Oxfam’s Nepal Earthquake Relief Appeal through its website. I also take this opportunity to remind members that the first Victorian parliamentary Oxfam meeting will be at 7.30 a.m. tomorrow. I wish to indicate my strong interest in and ongoing support for this initiative, as well as the ongoing work of Oxfam here in Australia and internationally.