NSW Legislative Assembly speaker, Jonathan O'Dea has acknowledged Stephen Bromhead for his contribution during the recent bushfires.
"I know the Member for Myall Lakes was absent from parliament during the peak of the bushfires, as he himself fought the fires on the frontline as a volunteer," Mr O'Dea said.
Mr O'Dea was touring the Mid Coast local government area (LGA) to see first-hand the devastation of the bushfires which ripped through the area.
"Parliamentarians are there to fight for their communities, and in this case, the Member for Myall Lakes was literally fighting with his community, to save his community. Stephen Bromhead is an outstanding community representative."
Accompanied by Mr Bromhead the speaker toured fire zones at Bobin, Hillville and Rainbow Flat.
Mr O'Dea said while seeing news reports of the fires from afar was shocking, seeing it in person gave him an even deeper appreciation of the ferocity of the fires, and the long road to recovery for local residents.
"The blackened landscape left behind by the blazes is eerie and devastating," Mr O'Dea said.
"As a representative of the NSW Parliament, I wanted to come here not only to fully appreciate the scale of the disaster, but to show support for firefighters, volunteers, and importantly the residents who will for a long time be dealing with trauma and loss.
"Often fires will rip through a community at speed, but the recovery is invariably slow and difficult.
"Long after the conditions ease, and the media coverage ends, the impact can be felt by locals for some time.
"Last month I visited the Winmalee Neighbourhood Centre in the Blue Mountains, where staff told me that six years on, they are still feeling the effects of the fires that tore through hundreds of homes and bushland there in 2013," he said.
Mr Bromhead welcomed the speaker's visit to Myall Lakes.
"I want to thank the speaker for taking the time to visit these communities," Mr Bromhead said.
"The speaker will be able to take back to parliament what he's seen and heard, and oversee the chamber with a deeper understanding and perspective," he said.
Mr O'Dea said that while NSW Parliament has a reputation for being an unruly place at times, the solidarity shown across the chamber during the bushfire crisis had been uplifting.
"Never before have I seen the chamber so quiet and solemn as recently, when members on all sides discussed the bushfires across NSW," Mr O'Dea said.