Sampson Flat Bushfire

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS ( 14:36 ): I have a supplementary question. Given the significant, ongoing impact on properties in the Sampson Flat fireground area, as witnessed by me only last weekend, has the minister taken the opportunity to visit those firegrounds and witness the recovery efforts that are still continuing some 12 months on?

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety) ( 14:37 ): Again, I would like to thank the honourable member for his important question. The specific answer with regard to me having an opportunity to visit the Sampson Flat bushfire area is no. I had the opportunity a couple of weekends ago to take some time and go up to the areas affected by the Pinery bushfire and that was an incredibly valuable experience. 

The truth is that no matter how much you read, no matter how many files you peruse or articles you read in the paper, there is nothing quite like going out on the ground and talking to the people who have been directly affected by these tragic incidents. My experience in visiting the Pinery bushfire really was an eye-opener in terms of the human element of these incidents and also to be able to take on-the-ground learning as a result. 

It is my intention to go to the Sampson Flat area as soon as possible in order to be able to look at the recovery efforts that are ongoing. I suspect the recovery efforts will continue to be ongoing for a while yet because the impact was so large. I have not had the chance yet, but as soon as the opportunity presents itself I will be going to Sampson Flat.