The first sitting day in 2020 was a solemn occasion with the House suspending consideration of government legislation to debate a condolence motion regarding the 2019-20 bushfire season.
Condolence motion – 2019-2020 bushfire season
Following Question Time, the Leader of the Government (Mr Harwin) moved the condolence motion which honoured those who tragically lost their lives during the bushfire season, acknowledged the devastation caused by the fires and offered sympathy to everyone affected.
In speaking to the motion, Mr Harwin noted the heartbreaking devastation caused by the bushfires and stated his sincere thanks to all firefighters, emergency service workers, volunteers and community members who helped New South Wales through the disaster.
Members from all sides of the chamber spoke in support of the motion, and echoed the Leader of the Government’s remarks. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr Searle) stated that the magnitude of the bushfires and the risks they have posed were the most calamitous in his lifetime, and many communities are enduring terrible loss, pain and hardship as a result.
In tribute to those who lost their lives, Mr Tudehope recited The Dash Poem by Linda Ellis which was also read at the State memorial held last week.
Members such as Ms Sharpe, Ms Faehrmann and Mr Field discussed the impact of climate change on the fires, stating that its effects should not be ignored.
As many members wish to speak to acknowledge the impact of the bushfires, the condolence motion will be considered further on Wednesday.
The following members spoke to the adjournment debate: