Federal Member for Wright, Scott Buchholz has again thanked the Australian Defence Force and Army Reservists for their support in recent bushfires, following the announcement that Defence has formally ceased Operation Bushfire Assist 2019-2020.
On 26 March 2020, having completed the emergency and recovery tasks requested by state and local authorities, defence concluded their efforts across Australia.
Mr Buchholz thanked all ADF and reservists’ personnel that assisted in a very difficult time for residents, business owners and farmers in the Scenic Rim.
“I want to put on record my sincere appreciation for the hard work by the men and women of the ADF, of the reservists that came to our aid during and after the bushfires.
“Our community here in the Scenic Rim was the one of the first hit by the disaster, we were assisted by the ADF before Operation Bushfire Assist was even established.
“Personnel at the Canungra Barracks were on the ground, helping out locals in Canungra, Sarabah, Beechmont and surrounds, providing food packages, logistical support, creating fire breaks and accommodation support – to protect all of the Eastern communities.
“Then later – they assisted in the Fassifern – where fires tore through a vast area –in and around Maroon, Tarome and Clumber, where the ADF provided support to our firefighters.
“I want to place on record my heartfelt thanks to all of those that assisted and particularly Colonel Arran Hassell for his leadership and commitment to our community,” Mr Buchholz said.
As the Operation concluded, Mr Buchholz said the Government fully recognised that the community had not recovered from the bushfires.
“Unfortunately, we’ve now had to deal with the global coronavirus pandemic and that has shifted the spotlight away from fires, from drought.
“I know that many businesses, many people, many communities are still hurting from the fires and from the drought – if you need assistance as a result of hardship on those matters – please continue to reach out, help is there.
“Right now, the spotlight is on slowing the coronavirus and limiting its impacts – because we know it will be a massive blow to all.
“Our region has been smashed – the drought has not broken, we’ve had some rain – the fires tore through – and now our tourism sector, our small businesses are experiencing a triple blow in the coronavirus.
“We will get through this, but only together. We must follow the advice to stay home as much as possible,” said Mr Buchholz.
Operation Bushfire Assist
ADF response and support to COVID-19