HomeCEO - Opinion Piece#BackingTheBush and in Conversation with the Energy Minister

#BackingTheBush and in Conversation with the Energy Minister

Over the past few months, the world witnessed and felt the devastating impacts of bushfires across Australia. Homes, businesses, animals and lives were lost.

Businesses lost the vital holiday trade, which many relied upon to keep them afloat for the rest of the year.

Earlier this month I attended Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) General Council Meeting in Batemans Bay in support of the NSW Business Chamber’s #BackingTheBush initiative. Batemans Bay, a popular holiday destination on NSW’s South Coast, was one of the areas hardest hit by the New Year’s Eve bushfires.

At this event Commissioner of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Shane Fitzsimmons AFSM (pictured left) spoke about the recent bushfire season and its toll on frontline volunteers, staff, and residents of the bushfire-affected communities.

Mr Fitzsimmons also spoke about the difficult road to recovery ahead and the importance of talking about mental health.

I would like to thank the many LFRA retail and associate members who contributed to the bushfire relief fundraising.

Collectively these contributions include millions of dollars donated to charities and organisations directly caring for the animals and families affected, having hundreds of stores open as donation destinations, hosting DIY events, and donating much needed goods to communities in need.

The mayor of the Eurobodalla Shire Council, Councillor Liz Innes also addressed the ACCI meeting.  Councillor Innes spoke of the issues impacting her local area.  It was a proud moment to hear Bunnings being singled out by Council Innes for their proactive, pragmatic and supportive assistance at the height of the fires.

Last month I was invited to speak on a panel about energy with Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, The Hon Angus Taylor MP, and Red Energy’s CEO, Iain Graham. This Q&A discussion was mediated by Paul Guerra, Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s new CEO.

Minister Taylor formally addressed the room and outlined the Morrison Government’s latest plans and policies in dealing with Australia’s energy security, pricing and emissions reduction.

He was most impressed with the LFRA’s energy and sustainability initiatives and encouraged other industries to follow our lead.

by Philippa Kelly, LFRA, Chief Executive Officer

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