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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 2 Hansard (4 March) . . Page.. 746..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

As I say, it was a discussion around the mechanics for the declaration of a state of emergency. It was not a recommendation that there be a state of emergency or we ready ourselves for the declaration for a state of emergency. It was a discussion around how it works and, in the context of an 80 per cent power failure to the whole of the ACT, it is, of course, one of the things that would perhaps result.

Of course, the opposition, thinking they are on a winner here, is looking for some connection between the briefing and the actions of government and ministers; and the fact that the disaster that occurred on the Saturday had been forewarned, that we were advised, that we should have been anxious, that we should have responded differently.

We need to put this in context. There were four ministers at that briefing-myself, the Deputy Chief Minister, the minister for emergency services and the Minister for Health. It is fair to say-and they can answer for themselves-that over the last two days Mr Quinlan and Mr Wood have given their responses to their impression of the feeling and the context of the meeting, and it is the same as mine, namely that we were not advised that there was any need at that time for undue anxiety in terms of the potential for the fire to impact on the urban edge. We all left the meeting with that position.

Mr Quinlan indicated yesterday that as a result of the briefing and the fact that he did not have that level of anxiety, he travelled to Melbourne for the weekend. Mr Wood went on holiday. Are you seriously suggesting-

MR SPEAKER: The minister's time has expired.

MR STANHOPE: that we as a cabinet, having received a briefing that raised our levels of anxiety, walked out and said, "Oh well, that was interesting, wasn't it". We did not.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The minister's time has expired.

Women's sport

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the minister for sport. As the minister knows, I have been keen for some time on promoting sporting achievements by women in the ACT and providing opportunities for that success. In the light of International Women's day, I ask: what has the government been doing lately in promoting women's sport?

MR QUINLAN: I thank Mr Hargreaves for the question. I do recognise the support and advocacy he has given in relation to women's sport. I think that it is probably a good idea to introduce a bit of a brighter note into this place. In recent times it seems to have been descending somewhat.

When this government came to power the Capitals basketball team, for some reason, did not receive the same level of government grant funding as did the Canberra Raiders and the Brumbies, even though the Raiders and the Brumbies got a whole lot of subsidiary benefit from the agreements they had in relation to the stadium formerly known as Bruce. At that time, this government increased the funding to the Capitals. I have to say that they have been very successful. It increased the funding to the Canberra Eclipse, the women's soccer team. They won a title and they have a high representation in the


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