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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2641..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

FOI to Mrs Burke or through tabling in the Assembly. There is nothing to hide. I have already said that when we have the audit report and the executive has had time to consider it, the report will be made public. There is no big deal here. It has been delayed. It is a thorough piece of work. It covers a number of children.

Bushfires-warnings

MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Mr Wood. Minister, from the evidence presented at the coronial inquest we have heard that then Superintendent Prince of the ACT Fire Brigade confirmed that Mr Peter Lucas-Smith warned the fire brigade on Thursday 17 January 2003 that it was likely that the fires would reach urban Canberra and he apparently asked the fire brigade to "keep this information to themselves".

Additionally, it is now clear from Superintendent Prince's evidence that Mr Rob Tonkin and Mr Tim Keady attended a meeting at 8 am on 18 January 2003 to discuss warning residents and the evacuation of suburbs. Clearly, both of these events indicate that senior government officials and the ESB were gravely concerned that an impact on suburbs was imminent and that the evacuation of suburbs was likely.

Minister, during your handover to the Chief Minister on the evening of 17 January 2003, did you brief the Chief Minister on this imminent danger of an impact on the suburbs or had you and the Chief Minister already been briefed at the cabinet meeting and other meetings on 17 January 2003 on the clear and present danger to suburbs; and if so, did you-or the Chief Minister-warn the community and take action to prepare evacuations either on 17 January 2003 or early on 18 January 2003?

MR WOOD: Mr Speaker, Mr Pratt is quoting extensively from material from the coroner's inquiry. It is material of great detail and it is very much a matter for that inquiry. I have indicated in answers to questions asked earlier this week the circumstances that applied at the time. This chamber is not a second coroner's inquiry, Mr Pratt. I think it is the province of the inquiry to go into that very considerable detail. I will just make one point that strikes me. I think that there needs to be a definition of impact on the ACT. At no time in my hearing was there ever any comprehension that the fire would impact in the way that it did.

Children with disabilities

MS DUNDAS: Mr Speaker, through you, my question is to the Minister for Education and Training. Minister, concerns have been raised about the provision of information in relation to services to assist the education of children with disabilities. The information on the departmental website is out of date and there are no direct links in relation to support for children with learning disabilities. Is it the intention of the department to update the information on the website and provide information that is easily accessible to parents?

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Speaker, this question I think just relates to information on the website about students with disabilities.

MS DUNDAS: Learning disabilities.


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