The first day of Federal Parliament for 2020 will be devoted to mourning those who died during this summer’s bushfire emergency, while also paying tribute to the work of the nation’s emergency services and volunteers.
- The Prime Minister will move a motion of condolence in Parliament, to honour those who have died and also praise work of emergency services
- More than 30 people have died, and thousands of homes were razed to the ground during the fires
- A special event will be held at Parliament House for the families of those who have lost loved ones during the fires
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will move a motion of condolence when politicians return to the capital on February 4, remembering those who have died while also praising the work of firefighters, police, ambulance officers and defence personnel who have worked tirelessly to keep their communities safe.
More than 30 people have died, and thousands of homes were razed to the ground during the devastating fires.
“Sadly we have lost too many Australians to this disaster and the Parliament will rightly acknowledge all those who have lost loved ones and those who have suffered injuries or lost their homes or suffered in any way as a result of the recent bushfires,” Mr Morrison said in a statement.
“These fires have been devastating but through these terrible times we have also witnessed the Australian spirit on display with an outpouring of love, support, courage and generosity.
“As a mark of respect, the motion of condolence will be the only formal business considered by the Parliament on our first day, with all members given the opportunity to speak.”
Mr Morrison said he has discussed the plan with Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, who made a similar suggestion earlier this month.
“We thank our brave firefighters and emergency services workers for their courage on behalf of their fellow Australians impacted by this crisis,” Mr Albanese said.
“Labor will continue to scrutinise the performance of the Government on the bushfires and other issues but it is appropriate that our national parliament give Members the opportunity to speak on the impact of the fires on their communities.”
A special event will be held at Parliament House for the families of those who have lost loved ones during the fires, along with representatives for fire fighting services from across the country.