Black Saturday 10th anniversary

Thursday 7 February 2019

The Victorian Parliament yesterday paused to mark the 10th anniversary of the 2009 bushfires which claimed the lives of 173 people.

Speaking during the commemoration in Parliament Mr McCurdy acknowledged the lasting impact on Ovens Valley and Victorian residents.

“The Black Saturday bushfires and their effects are still experienced every day by many in the region,” Mr McCurdy said.

“The anniversary is a time to reflect and remember the 173 people who died across the state, including Mudgegonga’s John and Sue Wilson.”

The Beechworth-Mudgegonga fire tragically claimed the life of the Wilsons at their Mudgegonga home. Thirty-eight houses were damaged or destroyed, and sheds, farming equipment and stock were destroyed in the blaze. Overall, the fire burnt 33,577 hectares.

Mr McCurdy said it was also important to thank and pay tribute to all the personnel who fought the 2009 bushfires and assisted in recovery.

“More than 19,000 CFA members were involved in frontline firefighting, incident management and support behind the scenes. We are forever grateful for their determination, courage and sacrifice,” he said.

“Everyone was affected by the 2009 bushfires, some more than others. Many other agencies and volunteers were also involved, and they were faced with numerous horrendous circumstances.

“Let the record show that we are incredibly proud of our volunteer CFA firefighters and the other frontline first responders.

“On behalf of the people of the Ovens Valley, may I say Sue and John Wilson will be remembered by the Mudgegonga community and that we need to ensure our volunteers and first responders are well resourced and respected to protect our communities.”

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