Daniel Andrews, the Premier of Victoria, joined Jase & PJ to reflect on the devastating events of the 2009 Victorian bushfires.
On the back of drought, a week of 40C temperatures and record-breaking 46.4C heat in Melbourne, nature unleashed its fury on February 7, 2009.
“It was a horrific set of circumstances,” Daniel Andrews told Jase & PJ.
“I think we all turn our minds back to that day – so hot, such an awful day in every sense, and you had that sense of foreboding that it would be a really, really bad day.”
The Premier then went on to stress that the technological advances our society has seen over the past decade has positively impacted the way emergency communication can be made.
“Technology has improved, the way we deploy that technology has improved, and I think the community’s awareness has changed as well.
“If you’re going to stay, then you have to be prepared… you’ve got to be vigilant, prepared, listen for warnings, and be aware of circumstances.”
Recalling the disaster 10 years on has been traumatic for many, forced to not only rebuild their homes but their lives, too. However, it’s the human spirit that lives on.
“When we saw the worst in nature, we saw the best of the human spirit. Humanity was on display, the kindness of strangers, people going above and beyond for each other. There’s something magical about that.
“Out of such tragedy, out of such horror came a really powerful demonstration that the communities not gone.
People are close when they need to be, and we’ve seen Bourke Street and lots of other examples where again and again you see the notion of understanding that the person next to you is important, and their wellbeing, and them getting the care they need at their time of greatest need.”
People from communities most affected, including Marysville and Kinglake, mark today’s anniversary with a range of events, gathering to pay respect to those lost and celebrate the heroes that came to their aid before and after the blazes.
At Marysville’s Gallipoli Park, where hundreds of people gathered to shelter from the fires, a commemorative event is being staged.