State Emergency Service Barrington Tops Rescue Operation
The Hon. MICHAEL GALLACHER: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Emergency Services. Is the Minister aware that a seven-year-old boy went missing during a family trip to Barrington Tops on the afternoon of 2 September this year? Was he advised that Pol Air 2 responded to a call for assistance late that night, only to return to base when it was within 40 kilometres of the scene because of restrictions on night flying? Is he further aware that a State Emergency Service [SES] volunteer discovered the boy early on 3 September and that the young boy was forced to endure an hour-long walk out of the wilderness because the government radio network radios issued to the SES do not work in the area? Given that Barrington Tops is a popular destination for holidaymakers and day visitors, what action will he take to ensure that during any future search and rescue effort SES volunteers and the rescued are not forced to endure such long walks to safety?
The Hon. TONY KELLY: I thank the honourable member for his very detailed but important question. I undertake to find out the details of the incident and to report back to him as soon as possible.