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No Stranger to Bushfires
Friday, 20 February 2009

Bundeena Bushfire 1994
Federal MP Scott Morrison's parliamentary speech recounts the bushfires which affected the communities of Bundeena and Maianbar.

Extract of speech by Scott Morrison given in the Federal Parliament February 11, 2009 10:00am

The shire is no stranger to bushfires. The circumstances of these deaths are horrific, and they will stay with the victims’ families forever. The tragic events in Victoria will call up memories for many across the country, including in my electorate and the neighbouring electorate of Hughes. For those in Victoria, these haunting memories have only just begun. In December 2001 Sydney experienced a black Christmas. Those fires, which had a particular impact on southern Sydney, burned for more than three weeks. It was the longest continuous bushfire emergency in New South Wales’s history. 

The fire affected the southern part of the Cook electorate, mostly the natural areas within the Royal National Park. The National Parks and Wildlife Service evacuated more than 3,000 people from the park, including holiday-makers and campers, as fires flared up very close to the main picnic and recreation areas within the park boundaries. The fire encroached on residential areas surrounding and within the national park, including the villages of Bundeena and Maianbar, which are only accessible by road—one road in, one road out. Hearing the stories yesterday, particularly from the member for McMillan, about the many Victorian communities facing the same thing, my mind immediately turned to those communities in Maianbar and Bundeena. Fortunately, there is another way out of Maianbar or Bundeena, and that is by ferry or boat. During those fires, that was the way that many residents of the suburbs were evacuated. 

More than 60 per cent of the vegetation within the Royal National Park was destroyed by fire. Thankfully, there was no loss of life. 

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