CONDOLENCES - Ross and Andrew Powell (30.4.2019)
Written on the 30 April 2019
Tuesday, 30 April 2019
As Ms Pulford has described, Ross and Andrew were very large characters within their community. They were known to many. I know that my colleagues, the member for Polwarth, Richard Riordan; the member for South-West Coast, Roma Britnell; and Mrs McArthur, who is not here with us today, have had considerable dealings with the family, who have led the way not only in what they have achieved in their farming community but also in what they have done in their local communities.
Ms Pulford touched on some of that acknowledgement and recognition of Ross, who was known as 'Po'but also his family members, who were very much part of the spirit of the communityand Andrew, and what they have achieved together, as I said, in relation to giving back to the community. These two men, along with Phillip Younis, were doing somethingsacrificing their time and ultimately sacrificing their lives to save a visitor, a tourist who was in deep peril as he found himself in trouble at the mouth of Port Campbell.
Now, I do know this area. I have spent some time at Peterborough, which is another wonderful little hamlet on the south-west coast. It is a very beautiful part of the worldPort Campbell and Peterborough. The entire area is, as we know, a very large tourist destination. That area is beautiful, but it is treacherous. It is not called treacherous and dangerous for any other reason than that it is known for some of the difficulties that people have come to in the past. It is known as the Shipwreck Coast, and many locals will know that, as did these men.
It is my understanding that Ross was an extraordinary volunteer. He gave so much to his local community, as did Andy. Ross was well-known. He was given the Centenary Medal in 2001 for his volunteering contributions. He was a founding member of the Apex club in Timboon. He was also a founding member of the Port Campbell Surf Life Saving Club and a driving force behind its redevelopment in 2000. There is a lot to say about this family and these two men, who were so tragically taken on Easter Sunday.
But again can I also acknowledge, as Ms Pulford has, the family of Mr Younis, who is recovering from his injuries from what he sustained during that rescue mission on the day. These two men who tragically lost their lives were wonderful individuals who were dedicated to their local community, but they also epitomised the spirit of our volunteers.
Many of us have got surf lifesaving clubs within our electorates or other emergency services, whether it be the SES or the CFA. Well, these men were known not only to the surf lifesaving club but also to the SES and the CFA. They really were outstanding contributors to their communities in volunteering and in giving and acknowledging the spirit of what volunteers do for their local communities. So it has been a tragedy that has affected the local community.
I was speaking to the local police officer this morning, who said the community is still in shock. They are still feeling what happened on Easter Sunday to their community, and it has extended to the wider community, not only to those family members of those that have lost their lives and that are recovering but to those emergency service workers who were in attendance on the daythe park rangers, the police offices and all who were involved in the recovery.
It is still deeply felt, but importantly I think that we need to send our condolences and deep sympathies to the family members of Ross and Andrewto Val, wife of Ross; to Amber, partner to Andrew; to their brothers and sisters; and to the young baby who is soon to come into this world, who as Ms Pulford acknowledged, will come to understand the true contributions of her father and her grandfather, and she should be very proud of those two men as individuals.
To the community as a whole I, together with members on this side of the house and all members of the house, extend my condolences to the families of Ross and Andrew Powell.