The following statement was read into Parliament at 9:50pm last night by the Hon Colin de Grussa:
HON COLIN DE GRUSSA: I rise to speak once again on the bushfire mitigation summit that was held last Friday. By now, I am sure members will know that I have some interest in the summit. In the interests of openness and transparency, I want to talk briefly about attendance at that summit. Of note to members is that of the 66 attendees, 15 were members of Parliament. There were no members from this place representing the South West Region, which I think is an anomaly given the specific discussion around the fire at Yarloop. Three attendees represented volunteer organisations and 20 attendees were from government departments. I think it is quite disappointing that many of the pragmatic and sensible ideas from our volunteers around this state could not be discussed at the summit because volunteers were not invited. A key theme that came through in the summit is that local knowledge is extremely important and must be better understood and utilised by the likes of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and other departments. Yet the very summit that discussed this issue, which I must add is not a new issue, did not allow those people to be there to discuss those points. I hope that this summit is not merely an exercise in ticking boxes as a result of recommendations from the Ferguson inquiry and that real change and reform will occur. At this point in time I am not holding my breath! In the interests of openness and transparency I seek leave to table the seating plan for the summit.