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  • Writer's pictureHugh McDermott

Thank you to SES units in Prospect for your Flood response

It is during times of natural disaster that we see the true character of our Australian spirit.

The volunteers with the NSW State Emergency Service, NSW Rural Fire Service and St John Ambulance are there for our community when they are most in need.

Today, I rise to inform the House about the outstanding work that has been displayed by the NSW SES Units at Blacktown, Auburn and Fairfield and their current efforts combating the devastating NSW Floods.

Australia, like no other country on Earth, relies on the dedication of these volunteers during these difficult days of natural disaster, and it is a credit to all of those who serve our community.

Over the last 14 months, our country has been tested on all fronts – The worst bushfires in our history in the summer of 2019-2020, a global pandemic, the likes of which we not seen for over 100 years, into the most recent major flooding that has occurred across the eastern states.

The Insurance Council of Australia has declared this to be an insurance catastrophe after more than 12,000 claims were made in the first few days of the disaster.

More will come as the floodwaters recede.

The SES volunteers across the Electorate of Prospect have provided an invaluable assistance to the residents of our local community, across Greater Western Sydney and on the Hawkesbury River.

The work of the three SES units of Blacktown, Auburn and Fairfield is driven by an unfaltering dedication to supporting our community in times of need.

Throughout their time in responding to the initial flood damage, the SES Units were involved in flood rescue, sandbagging, evacuations, tree removal, providing essential information to our community, as well as responding to direct calls for assistance.

The Units also provided logistical support to the operations of NSW Police and NSW Fire and Rescue.

It has been, and continues to be, instrumental in Western Sydney’s response to these floods.

The Units were deployed to multiple areas to provide assistance including across Prospect’s Local Government Areas, as well as the surrounding regions.

Units were deployed to assist the Nepean River and the Hawkesbury River regions, as the rivers burst their banks, forcing the surrounding areas to be evacuated.

They are still responding to calls to the SES hotline, which have already numbered in their hundreds for our three local Units.

On Monday 22nd March 2021, as the waters continued to rise - Windemere Detention Basin had a flood warning issued with the potential to impact parts of Greystanes and Wetherill Park.

Our SES volunteers provided warnings to locals to prepare for a potential evacuation to ensure people’s safety.

In addition, the Blacktown Unit HQ has been accessible 24 hours a day, to allow crews from across Sydney who needed some respite and a recovery before continuing their work.

The three SES units will be continuing their work for weeks to come, as the yet untold damage from the rising waters continues to leave its mark.

It is worth noting the efforts of the Units at the following locations of Berkshire Park, Shanes Park, Schofields, Pitt Town, the Hawkesbury as well as Windsor, where the team was directly involved in flood rescue.

At Shanes Park, The Blacktown Unit carried out boat extractions of trapped persons whose homes had become completely surrounded by floodwater.

Their actions directly saved lives.

The bravery and community spirit of our SES volunteers is heart-warming and needs to be congratulated.

Our state’s response to the current flood crisis will test many of us, but it is the indomitable Australian spirit, that continues to shine throughout these challenging days.

It is volunteers like those at the NSW SES Blacktown Unit, NSW SES Fairfield Unit and the NSW SES Auburn Unit who through their countless hours of dedicated work, keep us and our communities safe.

I thank you for your service and for your continued efforts in responding to the current NSW Flood crisis.

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