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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 4 Hansard (30 March) . . Page.. 1281..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

government's policy intention, is to see the relocation of the Belconnen bus interchange, following the extension of Cowan Street, to the western side of Belconnen Mall.

MS DUNDAS: Minister, with that policy intention in mind and a completely contrary statement being released in an arts and cultural facilities statement, when will the community be informed about the future of the Belconnen bus interchange?

MR CORBELL: I think if Ms Dundas checks her own records and, indeed, any public statements made by me she would be aware that as early as the middle of last year I was indicating the government's intention to re-locate the bus interchange as a passenger and arrival lounge to the west of Belconnen Mall. The report that Ms Dundas is referring to, I have a suspicion-I will need to check-has been prepared by consultants to the Belconnen Community Council, and that is something I will need to clarify. But the government's policy position has not changed and we have made clear on a number of occasions our intention to relocate the bus arrival and departure facilities to the western side of Belconnen Mall.

Bushfires-declaration of a state of emergency

MR PRATT: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Mr Wood. The coroner's inquest has heard that the secretary of the emergency management committee prepared a draft state of emergency declaration on Thursday, 16 January 2003 or the morning of Friday, 17 January 2003 for signature by the Chief Minister because it was likely that he may have to sign such a document declaring a state of emergency. Minister, what information about the likely impact of the bushfires prompted the preparation of this document?

MR WOOD: These matters are being exhaustively-I repeat, exhaustively-examined in the coroner's inquiry and that is where I think those questions should be asked. I am sure that they are being asked; there are so many of them.

MR PRATT: I have a supplementary question. Minister, given all of that, why wasn't the community warned that there was a reasonable chance that the impact of the bushfires would cause a state of emergency to be called on that weekend?

MR WOOD: That is a question that is around the place and it is being addressed in the coroner's inquiry.

Bushfires-cabinet briefings

MR STEFANIAK: My question is also to Mr Wood as Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Mr Wood, your colleague Mr Stanhope, in response to a question from me on 10 March, advised that you organised a special cabinet briefing on the bushfires on 16 January 2003. Minister, when did you make the decision that the bushfires were a serious threat to Canberra suburbs warranting a special cabinet meeting? What information about this threat prompted your decision to ask for such a meeting to be held?


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