Thu, January 21, 2010
World > Asia-Pacific

Prince William to visit bushfire survivors

2010-01-21 08:24:20 GMT2010-01-21 16:24:20 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Britain's Prince William speaks to guests at a barbeque hosted by New South Wales' Premier Kristina Keneally at Mrs Macquaries Point in Sydney January 20, 2010. The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House are seen in the background. (Reuters Photo)

Britain's Prince William (3rd L) tours the Sydney Harbour on a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) on day two of his Australian tour January 20, 2010. (Reuters Photo)

Britain's Prince William applauds as aboriginal dancers perform before a barbeque hosted by New South Wales Premier Kristina Keneally (2nd L) at Mrs Macquaries Point in Sydney January 20, 2010. (Reuters Photo)

Britain's Prince William fires a F-89 Minimi machine gun at the Holsworthy Army Barracks rifle range in Sydney January 20, 2010. (Reuters Photo)

CANBERRA, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Prince William's so far light- hearted tour of Australia will take a sombre turn on Thursday when he visits a bushfire-ravaged town near Melbourne, Australian Associated Press reports Thursday.

In his two days in Sydney, the prince has mingled with celebrities at a function at Admiralty House, spent time with Aboriginal elders and youth in Redfern, enjoyed a live firing exercise with soldiers at Holsworthy army base and took a jet boat ride before a gourmet harbourside barbecue.

But on Thursday morning, the prince will arrive at an undisclosed location near Melbourne, speculated to be the town of Marysville, which was razed in the Black Saturday fires on February 7 that killed 34 of its residents and four others in nearby Narbethong.

Victorian Premier John Brumby will brief Prince William on the fires and the recovery.

The prince will meet a family that survived the bushfire and then attend a community barbecue, where he will mingle with the locals.

William will also visit a school before traveling to Melbourne to meet with Victorian Governor David de Kretser, and will then speak at an early Australia Day reception at Government House.

Despite media speculation that William might hit the town on his last night in Sydney, he ended up taking a harbour cruise before being dropped off at Admiralty House where he was spending the night, reports said.

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