Motion of Condolence
Michael Johnsen MP, Member for Upper Hunter successfully moved a motion of condolence for the deceased as a result of the April storms and floods in the Hunter.
The motion passed the Parliament unanimously.
Mr. Johnsen said "It was pleasing to have bipartisan support in the Parliament recognising the terrible devastation experienced by residents and the loss of life in Dungog and Maitland."
The motion was;
“That this House:
1. Express its sincere condolences to the families and friends of Ms. Robina Reid MacDonald, Mr. Colin John Webb & Mr. Brian Alexander Wilson of Dungog and Mrs. Anne Jarmain of Gillieston Heights who all passed in the recent storm and flood events in the Hunter.
2. Acknowledge the hardship felt by the families affected by the devastating storms in the Hunter, Central Coast and Sydney areas.
3. Express its gratitude to the workers and volunteers of the emergency services, SES, network power companies and the efforts of all community volunteers involved in clean-up efforts resulting from the storms.”
"On Tuesday 21 April, the Hunter region experienced one of the worst storm and flood events in history. In my electorate of Upper Hunter, three people Ms. Robin MacDonald, Mr. Colin Webb and Mr. Brian Wilson passed away as a result of the horrific tragedy that has rocked the community of Dungog and the wider electorate. On Thursday 23 April, Mrs Anne Jarmain also passed away attempting to travel from Gillieston Heights to Maitland, in the electorate of Maitland.
"No-one expected the storms to bring such devastation and the ferocity with which the water inundated the town of Dungog in just hours, surprised even the longest term locals.
"During the storms, many truly heroic deeds were carried out, without fanfare, without thought of one's own safety, just an instinctive will to save another's life.
"At the time of the storms, residents of Dungog knew this was something big, different to that of storms and floods gone by. In fact, it was to be recorded as a 1 in 100 flood event.
"The task of rebuilding is now underway. The NSW Government has appointed Ret. Brigadier Darren Naumann as the Disaster Recovery Coordinator and his role is very welcome, while he is coordinating the various state and federal agencies, community groups and councils to ensure families and businesses are able to recover or, at least have some form of normality, as quickly as possible.
"This will not happen overnight, there are still communities isolated. People can't go to work, kids can't go to school, food is being helicoptered in and farmers are struggling to feed stock. This is a desperate situation and getting worse, not because of the continued flooding rather, the complete disruption to people's lives. We need to support these people and the task of doing so is enormous,” Mr. Johnsen said.