Leon Bignell MP, Member for Mawson

Excerpt from parliamentary statement

The Hon. L.W.K. BIGNELL (Mawson) (15:11): “I rise to support this motion as well and to talk about the really hard time that the people of Kangaroo Island have had in the past 50 days or so as this fire snaked its way across the western end of Kangaroo Island. It touched people's properties but did not destroy them the first time around. It touched them again on the other side the second time around. It touched them for a third time, in some cases. People thought they had miraculously survived, only to be hit by this serpent that came a fourth time and wiped them out.

The fires started on 20 December. Priscilla and Geoff, friends of mine—Priscilla is here today—were the first to lose their home. Priscilla works in my office in Kingscote …….

I want to thank BankSA for their tremendous response to their customers and to those who are not their customers. I have never met a more generous person in my life than branch manager Kaytee Collins. She is amazing. Nick Reade is the CEO. We might have had our differences over the years, but I have to say that Nick Reade and the BankSA crew have really stepped up.

Not only did they help out their customers, but he rang me and asked, 'What do you think we can do?' I said, 'There are a whole lot of people out there who have lost everything. The only thing they want to do right now as part of the grieving process, as part of the cleaning process, as part of the rebuilding in the early stages, is to get back out on their property, so what they need is power. How about we get some generators for them?'

BankSA chipped in $35,000, the Hotels Association, $30,000, and Dudley and Irina Brown from Inkwell Wines in McLaren Vale, $25,000.”