By Milton Dick MP

16 February 2020

As we head into February, it is an exciting time of year for many local families with school set
to return for thousands of students.

For Prep students it will be the first time they’ve entered the school gates. While Grade 6
students will find themselves in their last year of primary school.

Year 7 students will begin their high school journey and for year 12’s it will be the final year
of schooling before heading off to further study, work or perhaps even some time abroad.
We have wonderful schools throughout the Oxley electorate with hardworking teachers and
staff who do a tremendous job.

However I also know the past few months has been incredibly tough for many Queensland
families and indeed right across our country as our brave emergency service personnel have
battled unprecedented bushfires.

Many people and animals have lost their lives with 2,000 homes also being destroyed across
six million hectares that have been burnt.

I’m pleased to see our State Government led by Annastacia Palaszczuk providing leadership
for Queenslanders and supporting our emergency personnel.

FES volunteer firefighters and SES workers are now eligible for compensation under the
Federal Government’s Volunteer Firefighters Compensation Package which will be
administered by the Queensland Government.

And on a Federal level, I and my colleagues stand ready to support the necessary measures
to provide the critical support needed to everyone who has been impacted by these fires.
This includes supporting the passage of any legislation that was required for reconstruction,
recovery, for payments that might be needed for individual Australians, or payments to
communities through local government or other community organisations.

It is also important that we also take the required steps needed to be better prepared for
future fire seasons.

On behalf of our community, I send my deepest condolences to those who may have lost
loved ones due to the fires and I send my sincerest thanks to all of our emergency personnel
who have put their lives on the line to keep us safe. Our community and Australia owes you
a great debt.

If there is anything I can ever assist with, please send me an email or call my office on 3879 6440.