PM DROPS IN TO THANK VOLUNTEERS

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Deputy PM Michael McCormack mingle with firefighting volunteers at the special ‘thank you’ barbecue in Tumbarumba. 

EMERGENCY helpers, including many Hyne Timber team members, were acknowledged at a Thank the Volunteers barbecue in Tumbarumba last week, attended by Scott Morrison. 

The Prime Minister was joined by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, Fire and Rescue Commissioner Paul Baxter and local MP Justin Clancy. 

All acknowledged their amazing efforts to protect the town and the Hyne mill at Tumbarumba at the western edge of the Snowy Mountains through the bushfire crisis. 

The Australian Forest Products Association has paid tribute to the thousands of forestry industry workers and contractors who have been working tirelessly for months fighting fires. 

CEO Ross Hampton said: “While we are all rightly applauding the volunteer firefighters who have battled the flames, we must equally acknowledge that there are a large number of Australians wearing Hi Viz rather than orange firefighter clothing who have also given up their holidays to assist their fellow Australians. 

“All around the fire areas, forest industry workers have used their expertise and machinery to put out flames and push through vital fire breaks to allow firefighters to back burn,” Mr Hampton said. “They have also been clearing roads of fallen trees to make it safe for holidaymakers to evacuate and possible for volunteer firefighters to access flanks of fires.” 

Mr Hampton said the tragic fire season would have been much worse however if we did not have a large number of highly-trained forestry firefighters and contractors with decades of deep understanding of how to manage the bush in place to assist the effort.