Praise for BlazeAid: Speech to Parliament
Thursday, 1 June 2017
Mr BUCHHOLZ (Wright
): I rise today to acknowledge a small army of volunteers who have appeared in my electorate, an organisation known around Australia as BlazeAid. They have marched into my electorate to help local farmers fix fences in the aftermath of the recent floods in March. BlazeAid's reputation precedes them. Originally set up after the fires in Victoria in 2009, the organisation has extended its reach to help many communities across Australia in disaster areas.
In my electorate there are farmers who have been affected not only by this flood; this is the third one-in-150-years flood that they have faced back to back. Whilst we can keep rebuilding, just the presence of BlazeAid in the community helps enormously with the mental anguish. They recognise the hurdle in front of people as they rebuild given they had just got their lives back for a second time when they were knocked over again for a third time.
After sustaining devastating damage, the local farming community reached out to BlazeAid for their assistance. BlazeAid responded by setting up camp originally in the Beaudesert Showgrounds, which was the central community. Then the Beaudesert Show Society looked to prepare the Beaudesert Showgrounds for our annual show. That is a very important day on the community landscape for the community to heal because it is a time where they can come together. There is a sale . It is one of the highlights in Beaudesert, our country show. So we have set BlazeAid up at the Rathdowney and District Memorial Grounds, with people travelling from around Scenic Rim and also from out of the area to come and help in our community. Peter and Morgan have travelled from Victoria, Ross and Ann have come from South Australia, Ian has come from Darwin and John has come from Tasmania.
I say thank you to BlazeAid for the work that those people are doing in my community. These people help out the people in my community who are looking for a hand. The floods did not discriminate between rich and poor, and neither do the BlazeAid volunteers. They will go wherever they are needed to get stuck in to lend a hand, whether it is putting fences back up, removing debris or just doing some of those laborious tasks that allow the farmer to get on with the more annualised production tasks for the farm to generate income for next year. The 'orange angels', named for their penchant for hi-vis, are helping to rebuild our communities. BlazeAid has played an enormous role in our community. Each of the volunteers who make a contribution to that deserve all of our accolades.