Mr HODGETT (Croydon) — On Saturday, 6 August, I had the great pleasure of attending the Montrose fire brigade 2016 annual dinner dance. The Montrose fire brigade has a long history of serving our community and is something we are all extremely proud of. It never ceases to amaze me at these brigade and Country Fire Authority (CFA) service awards the time, commitment, dedication, allegiance and loyalty CFA members give to their local brigade and local community.

On this night we not only celebrated service awards for 5, 10 and 15 years service, but for 20, 30, 35 and 40 years service. In fact three members — Geoff Blackwell, Gary Ress and Craig Williamson — all received CFA service awards for 40 years service, incredible, steadfast, devoted, reliable, local service. I congratulate them, together with all the members who received CFA and brigade service awards that night. I also take the opportunity to congratulate the life members, Harrison Steed — the Jack Earney Firefighter of the Year — all award recipients on the night and to welcome the 14 new members joining the Montrose team.

Members of the CFA family are a terrific group of people, willing to work in our community and assist elsewhere when required. I take the opportunity to thank the Montrose fire brigade and all the partners and families who support our local CFA members to serve and protect our community. We can never thank you enough. To Captain Rob Waters, I congratulate you on a terrific year of providing ongoing leadership to the Montrose fire brigade. You serve in and lead a magnificent team of dedicated people that are well respected in our local area. I thank you, your lieutenants, firefighters and members for protecting the community for over 78 years.

18th August 2016.