ALP leader thanks firies

OPPOSITION leader Daniel Andrews dropped in to the Maiden Gully fire station yesterday to thank fire fighters for saving lives in last Sunday’s grassfire.

Mr Andrews spent 20 minutes chatting to volunteers and listening to their stories from the fire which came perilously close to houses, as part of a tour of areas burnt in regional Victoria.

“They did a fantastic job to put out the fire and it is important to come and say thank you, and to say thank you in person,” he said.

“The CFA have done such a great job in this fire complex, and in other fires right across Victoria.”

No homes or lives were lost in the hot dry conditions on February 9, the 5th anniversary of Black Saturday.  

Maiden Gully CFA captain Dave Mustey said on the day the wind and heat in the area had created an extremely potent fire risk.

"It's very, very dry," he said. 

"We had houses under threat but we know it could have been a lot worse."

Maiden Gully resident Vin Rousch from Schumaker Lane received applause when he gave his own thank you to the assembled volunteers.

“I would love to take this opportunity, without stealing anybody’s thunder, to thank on behalf of my family, on behalf of the residents of Schumaker Lane, on behalf of the residents of Maiden Gully and the bigger wider circle that were saved from what could have happened on Sunday – thank you to you people. 

"The CFA, Parks, all you support people, the choppers, the police, anyone who had anything to do with Sunday morning, you guys saved us.

“Our sincere gratitude and thanks to each and every one of you. ”

Mr Andrews said the State Government had been slow to act to help communities rebuild and called on the Government to do more .

“The government should waste not one moment in providing support through organisations like BlazeAid, through coordination, fencing, livestock, other practical support," he said.

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