Bill's Speeches


Last night, as rain drenched Sydney and fell here in Canberra, 80 fires have been burning across Queensland.

Premier Palaszczuk has described these fires and the extreme heatwave, wind and storm conditions as unprecedented.
All-time records have been shattered from Cooktown to Gladstone.
So, I wanted to say, on behalf of the parliament and the Australian people, we are thinking of Queensland and Queenslanders today.  
We are thinking of everyone who’s been evacuated from their home, or those making the hard decision to leave.
We’re thinking of the local brigades – the last line of defence - that have been on the job since last week.
The Wartburg, Agnes Water and Captain Creek Rural Fire services, working around the clock, supported by other regional fire services.
But in particular, I want to mention Baffle Creek.
It is a little town like so many others in Australia. There’s a general store and petrol station, a bait and tackle shop, a café, a real estate agent and a pub.
And their volunteer brigade has been fireside for five straight days, defending the place they love.
The Gladstone Regional Mayor, Matt Burnett told me this morning that today is the ‘crunch point’ for Baffle Creek.
The fire is heading to Coast Road and if Coast Road is blocked, people will be trapped. 
We salute the courage of all the volunteers and the courage of those coming from interstate to lend a hand.
They are the best of Australia. Standing together, helping each other.
And they are in our hearts today. 

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