Mr FREGON (Mount Waverley) (13:27): As we say goodbye to summer I want to take the time to reflect on what has been a very tough season. Victorians have not had it easy over the last few months, and the bushfires have taken a very heavy toll. Those families who have lost loved ones will never forget and I suggest never fully recover. To those families I pass on my sincere condolences.


The loss of 1.5 million hectares is frankly hard to fathom, and rebuilding will take not days or months but years. Our devastated communities will have our support for the long haul. Yet through the worst of it all we have seen our emergency services personnel and our communities work together. Stories of heroism, courage, generosity and compassion are commonplace. To all those who helped, whether directly or indirectly, I say thank you. On that note I want to take the time to thank the groups in our local community who raised funds for those affected by the Victorian bushfires: the Glen Waverley Anglican Church, Sewa International Australia, the Monash Chinese Friendship Association, the Victorian Tamil Association and many more groups and individuals. I thank you all.