Beverley McArthur MP

Member for Western Victoria Region

Media Statement




Australia Day Honours and Council Citizen Awards, along with the 10 Year Anniversary of the Black Saturday Bushfires, demonstrate the extraordinary contribution our volunteers make across the Western Victoria Region.  I congratulate and thank them all.

Numerous worthy individuals from across the Region were recognised for enriching their communities in the recent Australia Day Honours list. Australian Honours recipients came from Ararat, Ballarat North, Barwon Downs, Barwon Heads, Bellellen, Camperdown, Colac, Eastern View, Geelong, Highton, Jan Juc, Newtown, Portland, Stawell, St Albans Park, Warrnambool, Wendouree, Winter Valley, Wye River.

On Australia Day I attended the Corangamite Shire celebrations held in the Terang Civic.  The large hall was packed to capacity with local people keen to join together in appreciating the great country we live in and to warmly welcome new Australian citizens.  Numerous outstanding people were rewarded for their exceptional volunteer contributions to their local communities within the Shire.  Earlier in week, I attended the Golden Plains Shire ceremony in Bannockburn where more hard working volunteers were congratulated. These awards were made across the Region and are an important part of supporting the spirit of volunteerism.

We are currently recognising the 10 Year Anniversary of the Black Saturday Bushfires.  This is, of course, a very sad time for many people who lost loved ones, their homes, farms, livestock and their livelihood.  But in marking this anniversary, we also pay tribute to the thousands of volunteer fire fighters who risked their own lives and loss of property to save the lives, property and livestock of others.  I was honoured to join the Governor of Victoria, The Honourable Linda Dessau AC in Hamilton and Coleraine where Her Excellency personally and eloquently thanked the volunteers and emergency service providers, along with the entire community for their efforts on that dreadful day.  By hosting these two events, the Southern Grampians Shire Council also paid tribute to those who did so much to keep citizens safe and extinguish the inferno.

In our rural countryside we all understand that volunteers are the lifeblood of our local communities and without them, much of what we know to be important and necessary, would not happen.  Sadly, this recognition sometimes appears lost on city centric governments. I pay special tribute to our CFA volunteers and the many other individuals who risk their lives and give so generously of their time and expertise to make our country great.

 5 February 2019