MONDAY, 6 JUNE 2016
SUBJECT/S: Storms hitting Australia’s East Coast.
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Good afternoon everybody. I just wanted to make a few brief comments about the wild and devastating weather that we have been witnessing and experiencing on the Eastern Coast of Australia over the last couple of days.
Australia can be an unforgiving continent to live in, but by any standards, the damage that we are seeing is quite devastating and well beyond what people are used to. We've seen houses inundated, we've seen businesses damaged, we see communities affected.
Most tragically, three Australians have already lost their life and there are more missing.
My thoughts and our thoughts, go to the families of those people who have been so calamitously affected by this terrible weather. I have had the opportunity to briefly speak with the Prime Minister this morning and communicated to him our bipartisan support for all measures which are being taken to help people through this particularly tough time. I have indicated that if it is appropriate, I would be willing to visit flood affected areas with him. Both he and I know that there are matters which are more important than the current political struggle in which we are engaged. This is clearly one of them.
And it is most important I think, that Australians recognise that at this time, we owe a great debt to our emergency services. It is our emergency services, our men and women, both professional and volunteer, who work tirelessly to help alleviate the damage which we are witnessing now.
As ever, our emergency services in the worst of times, represent the best of Australia.
Thanks everybody, speak to you a bit later.