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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (11 April) . . Page.. 1102..

Aboriginal tent embassy

(Question No 65)

Mr Cornwell asked the Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Corrections, upon notice on 19 February 2002:

In relation to the total fire ban that was in force in the ACT in the fortnight following Christmas Eve 2001:

(3) Why was the fire at the Aboriginal campsite in front of old Parliament House not extinguished.

(4) Why were the camp occupants not prosecuted for failure to comply with the total fire ban.

Mr Quinlan: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) For some years, a small, ceremonial fire has been maintained by the occupiers of the aboriginal tent embassy in the vicinity of old Parliament House. The size location and surrounds of the fire have been assessed by the Fire Commissioner who determined that it does not present a danger to life or property.

(2) After taking into account the nature and purpose of the fire and the cultural significance ascribed to it by the occupiers, it has not been considered necessary to take formal action in relation to it. This approach was developed in 1998 under the former Liberal Government and has continued since that time.

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