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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 3125..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

and would not be here for this Bill, but it took only five minutes and Peter has been able to return. I am pleased that he is here to see this Bill go through because I know that all the staff of Environment ACT have put a lot of work and a lot of effort into this Bill and it is pleasing that their efforts have been rewarded by its being passed in this place.

Remainder of Bill agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

BUSHFIRE (AMENDMENT) BILL 1998

Debate resumed from 17 November 1998, on motion by Mr Humphries:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR KAINE (5.55): Mr Speaker, I believe that we are still dealing with the matter in principle and that we have not moved onto the detail stage yet. I have no comment to make on the matter in principle.

MR HARGREAVES (5.55): Mr Speaker, I have no comment to make on the Bill in the in-principle stage. We will deal with it in the detail stage in one hit.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (5.55): Mr Speaker, I am very pleased that the Minister has brought this Bill to this place, because the issue of bushfires is something that I can speak of with just a little bit of knowledge. I see in the gallery somebody we refer to as CFCO - Chief Fire Control Officer - Peter Lucas-Smith. Bushfire is a threat that is often placed at the doorsteps of Canberrans. Fire can commence from the smallest of sparks. It can commence from a cigarette thrown from a moving vehicle. It can commence from light focused through a broken coke bottle. It can commence through carelessness. It can commence as an act of arson.

These are very serious amendments. What Mr Humphries does here is seek to strengthen the ability of the Chief Fire Control Officer to make sure that, where appropriate, we can declare fire bans, to protect all Canberrans. I think that the Bill is very good and that we should agree to it in principle.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.


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