Member for Farrer Sussan Ley, today marked the third annual National Memorial Service for fire and emergency services personnel who have lost their lives protecting Australian communities.

Representing Minister for Justice Michael Keenan at a ceremony in Canberra, Ms Ley said today’s commemorative service at the National Emergency Services Memorial recognised the commitment, bravery and selflessness of all emergency personnel, and paid special tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

“With us today at the service were the families, friends and loved ones of those brave people that have given their lives. Today, we all share their pain and recognise the heroism of their loved ones,” Ms Ley said.

“Australia is no stranger to natural disasters. Every year, nature flings her worst at us through fires, floods, cyclones and other events.

“There is no nation in the world better prepared to meet and respond to these challenges – largely thanks to the brave men and women of our emergency services.

“We will never forget those people that have given their lives to protect their communities. To them, and to all those brave men and women serving in our emergency services, Australia says thank you.”

Minister Keenan said these qualities were on display only a few weeks ago when Tropical Cyclone Debbie stalked the east coast of our nation and caused widespread devastation across Queensland and New South Wales.

“Livelihoods were destroyed, homes and businesses were inundated, infrastructure was damaged, and tragically, nine people lost their lives,” Mr Keenan said.

“Without hesitation, thousands of emergency services personnel sprang into action, rescuing people from flood waters, clearing roads and providing comfort to those in need.

“This was just one example of the heroism which is displayed every day by our emergency services personnel.”