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Today marks 15 years since Gippslanders, and our friends across Victoria, endured the horrific loss of life and property in the Black Saturday bushfires.

While homes have been rebuilt and the environment has largely recovered, many families still carry the emotional scars of that devastating event.

My thoughts today are with the families and friends of those who perished and the first responders who worked tirelessly to keep our communities safe in the face of extraordinary adversity.

There were countless everyday heroes of Gippsland who fought the Black Saturday bushfires and then volunteered to help our community rally together in the aftermath.

The firefighters, the community volunteers, the emergency services workers, the contractors and the neighbours who placed themselves in harm’s way to help their mates in a time of great need, wrote their own inspirational chapter in the story of Gippsland.

Today we remember them.

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