Mr NORTHE (Morwell) The topic of my member’s statement today is the devastating storms and floods that impacted many Victorian communities, including that of my own community last week. My thoughts, prayers and best wishes are sincerely with those who bore the brunt of these storm and flood events, and my gratitude and thanks are extended to all who responded to the emergency and to those who are now playing a role in recovery efforts.
Unfortunately, in the Morwell electorate we have seen significant damage to homes, farms, businesses, sporting and community organisations. Vast amounts of trees and forested areas have been uprooted and this has subsequently caused carnage across our community, including to dwellings, assets, roads, fences and wildlife. Another flooding of the Traralgon Creek, the Latrobe River and other catchments caused heartache for local residents, with many homes inundated with floodwaters. A number of businesses, sporting clubs and community organisations also experienced flooding of their facilities, whilst some farmers sustained stock, feed and fence losses.
In the southern and northern parts of the Morwell electorate the sheer volume of tree damage is difficult to fathom. Some areas truly resemble a war zone with large trees ripped out of the ground and strewn across the landscape like toothpicks. Unfortunately, the financial and emotional toll is real for many people, some who have previously endured major bushfires and floods.
I have observed the tears, the frustration, the anger and the gratitude of those impacted. Knowing where to start and what task to do first is bloody hard when one surveys the mess before them. It is heart-warming to see neighbour helping neighbour and people just getting stuck in and doing their bit to help. We are blessed in our community to have so many people willing to give and help others in their time of need. It is pleasing to see some government supports filter through, but the reality is we will need financial and emotional supports to be extended in the days, weeks and months ahead.
People were without essential services, including power and telecommunications, for days on end and some homes are inhabitable, as are a number of buildings. But in times of adversity our community really digs deep. It is humbling to observe the goodwill that exists, and I want to thank every single person and organisation who has provided assistance thus far and who will help in recovery efforts, remembering that much of this help has been rendered by volunteers and volunteer organisations. Take care and stay safe, everyone.