Members Statement - Bayindeen Rocky Road Fire

06 March 2024

Martha HAYLETT (Ripon) (09:56):

Our region saw some of the worst bushfires in living memory over the last two weeks. It started at Rocky Road in Bayindeen at 10:24 am on 22 February and spread from there. The fire moved quickly, spotting up to 15 kilometres ahead, with so much smoke that it created its own weather pattern across the Pyrenees region and beyond.

Over 1000 ‍emergency service members and volunteers swung into action from across our region and all over the state.

Evacuation centres were quickly stood up in Ararat, Maryborough and Ballarat, with four of our local councils working hand in hand to support residents in need. To date we have lost six homes, 10 sheds, almost 300 sheep and over 22,000 hectares.

This loss is devastating, especially for the Raglan community outside Beaufort. It could have been so much worse, though, if it were not for the tireless efforts of so many to protect lives, properties and communities.

On behalf of thousands of locals across Ripon I want to thank Forest Fire Management Victoria, the CFA, Fire Rescue Victoria, Victoria State Emergency Service, Victoria Police, the NSW Rural Fire Service, Emergency Recovery Victoria, Pyrenees Shire Council, Ararat Rural City Council, Central Goldfields Shire Council, the City of Ballarat, Agriculture Victoria, Ballarat Community Health, Grampians Community Health, the Red Cross, the Victorian Council of Churches, the Department of Health, the department of – (Time expired)