Prime Minister, Premier & Mayor honour fallen firefighters at opening of Fire Truck Memorial at Buxton
Posted on: 07.12.2020
Wollondilly Council and the NSW RFS Southern Highlands Team welcomed the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Premier Gladys Berejiklian, RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers and Resilience NSW Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons to the official opening of the new Fire Truck Memorial Playground at Telopea Park, Buxton today.
The memorial playground was built to honour Mr Geoffrey Keaton and Mr Andrew O’Dwyer of Horsley Park Brigade, who lost their lives in the Green Wattle Creek bushfire at Buxton last December.
The families of the two fallen firefighters attended the official opening with a long list of dignitaries, following a private visit to the memorial at their own event last month.
Wollondilly Mayor Robert Khan said, “The new fire truck playground will serve as an ongoing reminder to the Buxton community of the sacrifice that was made to protect their village during the devastating Green Wattle Creek Fire.”
“I’d like to thank the community advocates, particularly the Buxton RFS, who successfully secured a range of external funding towards the playground equipment. This was a truly collaborative effort between Council, the RFS and the community.”
“It was fantastic to see the firefighters remembered in such a significant way with the Prime Minister and all our other special guests here today to pay tribute,” he said.
The request for a memorial playground at Telopea Park was initially raised by the Buxton community as a fitting way to honour the RFS volunteers.
Council undertook community engagement earlier this year, including with the families of the lost firefighters, and found there was overwhelming support for the project.
On top of the $280,000 raised by the community for the fire truck memorial, funding was also allocated from the Commonwealth Government’s $1 million Disaster Recovery Grant for bushfire impacted communities towards embellishing the park around the new playground.