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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 11 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3219..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

There is a difference between the Labor government and those opposite. Those opposite are prepared to rely on existing predictions, existing assumptions. We are thinking about the future. We are planning not just for the next three to five years. We are thinking about the next 25 to 30 years. We are the only government that has been prepared to put in place a detailed and strategic plan for the next 25 to 30 years, something the OECD has raised, something our community has been calling for for so long.

Over there are the mob whose only planning achievement was to get nine Canberra suburbs on the National Trust endangered places program. That was their legacy to the city. In contrast, this government is serious about developing a long-term strategic approach to planning in the city, not just for the term of this Assembly, but for the next generation. That is a responsibility we take seriously. My comments were made in that context when I spoke at the forum a few weeks ago.

Firefighters-radio system

MS TUCKER: My question is to Mr Quinlan as the minister for emergency services. I understand that a couple of years ago there was a budget proposal for money to upgrade the emergency services communication systems, and the firefighters' radio system was part of the proposal as their system was overdue for an upgrade. They have some black spots with poor reception. There are also problems with reception inside buildings and when firefighters are wearing encapsulated suits for biological and chemical risks. However, I understand that the expenditure since then under this budget item has concentrated on the development of a computer-aided dispatch system and that the radio system has not been upgraded. Could you advise why the firefighters' radio system has not been updated yet and whether this upgrade is likely to occur?

MR QUINLAN: Not off the top of my head. Certainly we are aware that there have been changes going on, and we have tried to manage improvement in communication within the Emergency Services Bureau as best as resources will allow. I will take the question on notice and get you a more definitive answer.

Red Hill property

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Planning. It does not relate to the Gungahlin Drive extension. Minister, in February this year your office was contacted by two constituents from Red Hill in regard to problems they were having about their property, which unbeknown to them had been built over a creek and on landfill. I understand that your office arranged for the constituents to speak to officials and an appointment was made for you to speak with them. However, that appointment was not to take place until last week, 71/2 months after they first contacted your office.

I was informed that your office rang them the day before the meeting to cancel the appointment, saying that you had reviewed the case, you could do nothing and nothing would be gained by the meeting. Do you regard 71/2 months as a reasonable waiting time to meet constituents, and do you consider such an abrupt cancellation of such a long-awaited meeting an appropriate way to treat constituents?

Mr Quinlan: They haven't been reading your mail, have they?


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