Bushfire & Beach Safety

29 Nov 2018 speech

Ms FLINT (Boothby) (11:31): Summer is almost here, and we have already had some very warm and wild weather in South Australia. I want to take this opportunity to remind local residents in my electorate of Boothby about what they can do to stay safe this summer and to thank all of the incredible local volunteers who dedicate their time to protecting our community at the beach and in the hills throughout the summer months.

Bushfire season has officially started in South Australia, and I urge residents in the hills zone area, and particularly in suburbs like Brown Hill Creek, Belair, Blackwood, Upper Sturt, Craigburn Farm, Hawthorndene, Glenalta, Coromandel Valley, Linton, Eden Hills, Bellevue Heights, Flagstaff Hill, Aberfoyle Park and Happy Valley, to make sure they have their bushfire action plan in place now. There is nothing more important than having a plan in place, and I will continue to remind my local residents of this during the bushfire season ahead.

To this end, I recently held a community bushfire safety forum with the Member for Waite, Sam Duluk, and the Member for Davenport, Steve Murray, to work with our community and our wonderful CFS volunteers to remind everyone of what they need to do. Special thanks to Sturt group officer Dale Thompson, deputy group officers David Sims and Chris Smith, regional commander John Probert, and all the CFS volunteers who contributed on the night. The CFS provide a wealth of information about planning and prevention, and I encourage all my residents to visit their website—cfs.sa.gov.au—to inform their bushfire plan. Being bushfire ready could well save lives, and I encourage all those living in fire-prone areas to prepare their bushfire survival plan if they have
not done so already. We must all know the risks; prepare ourselves and our families, homes and businesses; and stay alert to our surroundings. As the CFS says: prepare, act, survive.

I want to praise the continuing work of the Sturt CFS Group, covering the brigades at Blackwood, Belair, Eden Hills, Coromandel Valley, Cherry Gardens, Happy Valley and Upper Sturt, who also help to keep Boothby residents safe each summer. To show our support for the CFS and raise awareness of the vital need to prepare, act and survive, my State colleaugues and I held our annual fundraising barbecue at the Blackwood Coles just a few weeks ago, and I'm delighted to report that we raised more than $3,000 for the Sturt CFS Group. Very special thanks to the CFS volunteers who joined us on the day and to Blackwood Coles for once again sponsoring the event. Thank you to all of our local residents who were so generous with their donations.

Staying safe at the beach this summer is an important message that I am delivering to my community. I also note that surf lifesaving volunteers do so much to ensure that we can all enjoy our beautiful beaches safely during summer. Last month, I joined each of my surf lifesaving clubs to mark the start of the 2018-19 season, which means that lifeguard patrols and the red and yellow swimming flags have now officially returned to our beaches. I urge all beachgoers to follow the advice of our trained lifeguards and to swim between the flags at all times. You can visit the website—beachsafe.org.au—for more tips about beach safety. I'd like to thank President Dr Glen Patten and the Seacliff Surf Life Saving Club, President Chris Parsons and the Brighton Surf Lifesaving Club, President Warwick Holland and the Somerton Surf Life Saving Club, and President Georgie Cole and the
Glenelg Surf Lifesaving Club for everything they do to keep people safe on the beaches throughout summer.

These clubs do so much more than just keep us safe. They support the development of skills, fitness, volunteering and lifelong friendships, particularly between their younger members, many of whom participate in competitions like the Lifesaving World Championships, which are currently underway in Adelaide. The Seacliff, Somerton, Brighton and Glenelg surf lifesaving clubs also regularly host fundraising activities and events, such as the Seacliff Swim, Paddle, Run, and the Brighton jetty sculptures events. I encourage everyone in our community to attend these events and support their local club in their fundraising efforts. There are so many ways to support these fantastic groups, so please get in contact with your local club to find out how you can get involved and to support the volunteers who keep us all safe on the beach.

I'm blessed to represent an area that includes the beautiful Mitcham Hills and Adelaide's absolutely best stretch of coastline, and I will do all I can to ensure my local residents stay safe this summer. I will also do all I can to thank our incredible volunteers, who do so much for our community and selflessly give so much of their time every summer to keeping us all safe.