Wednesday 29 October, 2014

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (18:02): Often our volunteers do not get the recognition they deserve in our community. Today, I speak in particular of one organisation which has recently done a fantastic job: the Campbelltown SES unit. I rise in this place to congratulate the tireless, diligent, hardworking Campbelltown SES for their continuous work in serving not only my local community in the north-east, but also communities elsewhere.

The Campbelltown SES is located just up the road from my office on Montacute Road, and it commands the north-eastern command area. In particular, I want to draw the attention of the house to a letter that was forwarded to me from Mrs Janet Munro, the Chair of the Campbelltown Uniting Church. Recently, there was an accident at that church on Lower North East Road, and the Reverend Douglas Monaghan also passed on a letter to the Chief Officer of the SES, Mr Beattie. The letter describes a vehicle collision that occurred while a vehicle struck the wall outside the church earlier in October. If you go past that church and look at the wall you will see that it is quite durable, and it was quite some collision.

Mrs Munro and Reverend Monaghan reported that two SES vehicles and six workers were on the scene almost immediately upon hearing about the crash. SES workers were at the site, I understand, for over five hours, and set about quickly restoring order on what is a very busy road. Quick and accurate decisions were made by the SES workers about the safety of the affected wall, and they undertook appropriate actions to secure the site until architects were on site to secure the wall. The business of the church was allowed to go on within a short space of time. I understand that it is a mere fraction of the work that this and other SES groups engage in on an annual basis, but it is just an excellent example of cooperative community spirit, especially within the Campbelltown community.

I understand that there are more than 1,600 SES volunteers across South Australia, and I am sure in many of our electorates, comprising of some 67 units. Obviously, they assist in the clean-up of areas in disaster zones after floods and bushfires, and they also regularly assist the police with searches, as well as many other operational activities. I want to sincerely congratulate each one of those members of the SES in Campbelltown who responded that day. They are a credit to the community and to themselves.

It is very important that we, as members of this place, continue to support this important state institution and provide them with every financial and logistical support we can that they may require to support our emergency recoveries in South Australia. The SES is an extremely important service to South Australians and I do not think we can thank enough all the workers and volunteers who selflessly devote their time to improving safety in the community. I encourage all members to continue to support the SES and other emergency services across the state.