I would like to associate myself with this motion. Those horrendous events now at the Serve You Right cafe happened two weeks ago, when we saw Ravenshoe literally implode.
As the Leader of the Opposition rightly said, the graphic images that we saw on the news were really quite horrific. Twenty-one people were injured and, as the member for Kennedy has said, sadly two to date have succumbed to their injuries.
The first was 37-year-old Nicole Dempsey, who sadly passed away and was buried in the community last Friday; the second funeral for 82-year-old Margaret Clark will happen on Thursday in Innisfail.
We are not out of the woods yet, because there is still a number of critically ill patients in Brisbane and others who are in a stable condition in our local hospital, including the driver of the vehicle.
As we always see in Far North Queensland communities, people are being very generous. There is an appeal to assist the victims—there is an official GIVIT Ravenshoe; you can contribute by visiting www.givit.org.au.
I think it is important when you reflect on a tragedy like this that you recognise the absolute heroic nature of this community. There were two firefighters at that cafe at the time, Joe Torrisi and Michael Beck, who were going about their normal work, talking to some senior members of the community.
In spite of the fact that they were very badly burnt, they ignored their own burns and continued to help other people. They will both survive, but they are going to face years and years of rehabilitation.
The local paramedic, Darrell Thompson, was on his own at the time—he was the only paramedic in town for 13 minutes before emergency services arrived—but Darrell will tell you that he was never on his own, because the community, right from the moment this happened, rallied around him.
It was an extraordinary effort by all of the community, including the firefighters and others like Eric Balodis, an artist who lives across the road. He went into the burning building and dragged one woman out by her feet because she pleaded with him not to touch her badly burnt hands. Ken Todler had burns to 37 per cent of his body and yet he rushed in there to help, as did many other locals who are too numerous to name.
The strength of a community is always gauged by how people respond to these tragedies and this small tableland community has responded in a most amazing way.
I was talking yesterday to Nicola Baker, who was a very dear and close friend of Nicole Dempsey. She said that Nicole had two beautiful children—Jordan, 13 and Brody, 8—and she was a very strong supporter of the school. As the member for Kennedy said, she was also heavily involved in netball and in the local footie team.
What Nicola and the community are looking to do is to put together a proposal for a fitting legacy to Nicole's contribution at the local sports area. I am pleased that the Deputy Prime Minister will be going up there to hear about that.
The community is already focusing on how they can make a positive out of this absolute tragedy. My condolences are with those families who have lost loved ones; our best wishes and hopes are with those who still have challenges ahead.