It was with great honour and humility that I represented the Tasmanian Government at the NSW State Memorial Service today, paying tribute to the people who lost their lives during the unprecedented NSW bushfire season.
I was joined by TFS Deputy Chief Bruce Byatt at the State Memorial, held at Sydney Olympic Park, which recognised and paid tribute to the 19 civilians and six firefighters who died across NSW due to fires since October 2019.
Across Australia, a total of 33 people have died from bushfires this season, including three volunteer RFS firefighters, three US firefighters, two Forest Fire Management Victoria officers and one Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning firefighter.
The Service paid tribute to the brave firefighters who lost their own lives protecting the lives and properties of others.
It also recognised the valued contribution of firefighters from all Australian states and territories, including Tasmania, as well as the United States, Canada and New Zealand.
In addition to paying tribute, the memorial was a strong show of support for the many thousands across the country affected by this season's fires.
This memorial service was an opportunity for Australia to come together to reflect on the bushfire season, acknowledge the incredible efforts and sacrifice of our volunteers and emergency services personnel and pay tribute to those who lost their lives.