*** CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY ***
I thank the Member for Denison for reminding the House of this anniversary.
February the 7th – a Tuesday in 1967, a Saturday in 2009 - is seared in the memories of Tasmanians and Victorians alike.
Black Tuesday remains the worst bushfire in Tasmanian history.
Sixty-two Tasmanians lost their lives, over 900 were injured.
Thousands more lost homes, pets, crops, livestock.
And the countless other treasures fire claims: the photo albums, the films, the scrapbooks, the hand-made memories and heirlooms gone for good.
In their place – the imprint of fear.
The memories of lost loved ones, narrow escapes, the heart-stopping recall of a last-minute decision to flee that nearly wasn’t made.
Now, 50 years is more than enough time to replant crops, to re-grow trees, to rebuild homes and communities.
But for many Tasmanians, time will not have faded the memories, dimmed the sadness or eased the pain.
We stand with them today.