"we were seeing the seeds of new life."
Ms Michelle Rowland MP speaking about the Australian Bushfires in Parliament February 2020
I had but a glimpse of the aftermath of the devastation caused by these fires on a visit to the electorate of Macquarie with my good friend Susan Templeman. It was so confronting to see homes destroyed, small businesses empty and the environment absolutely scorched. But what moved me more was the spirit of the local residents who had survived these fires. They were open, generous and welcoming, despite everything they had been through. They were optimistic about the future and determined not to be broken.
I remember, in particular, going to the home of Billy and Sarah in Mount Tomah. They had a beautiful garden that was absolutely scorched. Their home, thankfully, survived, largely thanks to their preparation but also because where they were the fire had literally stopped, so theirs was the house that survived. The garden around them was completely destroyed but, while we sat in their lounge room with a few of their neighbours talking, we all started looking out the window because all of a sudden out of nowhere beautiful coloured parrots started appearing in their garden. They'd started putting out seed for these parrots, and it was like we were seeing the seeds of new life. We all went outside and carefully watched and tried to take photos of these parrots. They absolutely lifted our spirits.
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