I would be most grateful if you would pass on my thanks and admiration to those who have once again come to the rescue and to those already providing invaluable assistance in the recovery process.
It is with great sadness, as well as alarm, that I write to convey my utmost concern to all those people throughout New South Wales whose lives, homes and businesses have been so dreadfully affected by the latest series of devastating floods. My wife and I have seen some of the news coverage from a range of different areas and we are shocked by the extent of the flooding, by the volume and speed of the flood waters as well as the massive damage being wreaked. We also send our deepest sympathy to the families of those who have lost their lives.
In addition, I am fully aware of reports today of a series of major flood warnings across a large number of rivers that have been described by emergency authorities as posing "a significant flood threat across Western and Southern New South Wales".
Many people now suffering the impact of their homes and properties being inundated have, of course, been through this turmoil before, including earlier this year. They have also been forced to clean up and rebuild their lives after other devastating floods in recent years. For them, the loss and the heartbreak continue.
I would be most grateful if you would pass on my thanks and admiration to those who have once again come to the rescue and to those already providing invaluable assistance in the recovery process. I have seen the images of hundreds of stranded residents being rescued by helicopters and boats and of the evacuation of entire communities. I have also seen reports about areas now witnessing the biggest flood operations in history following the heaviest rainfall ever recorded as Australia experiences its third year of La Nina climate events.
Once again, Australians have been called to fight through exhaustion to assist their fellow citizens. For me, having visited Australia before over the decades following bushfires and floods across different states and territories, I know that those involved exemplify the very best of Australian values as they save lives and assist countless families and businesses to recover and rebuild.
My wife and I could not be more concerned about what New South Wales and other states are now experiencing, as well as the threat of even more widespread flooding. Our hearts go out to you.