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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 4237..


MR STEFANIAK (10.34): As someone who has known the Thurbon family for many years, I echo those comments. I also dedicate it to an old army mate who died of asbestosis. We served in several places together.

Amendment agreed to.

Title, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Suspension of standing order 76

Motion (by Mrs Dunne ) agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority:

That standing order 76 be suspended for the remainder of this sitting.

Bushfires

MR PRATT (10.35): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes community concern about the lack of warning given to the Canberra community by the ACT Government about the January 2003 bushfires; and

(2) calls upon the Chief Minister to inform the Assembly by close of business today exactly where he was on the evening of 17 January 2003 and why he was unable to take telephone calls.

Mr Speaker, I rise today to speak about the government's failure to act appropriately and in the best interests of the Canberra community during the January 2003 bushfire disaster. The reason this complex and important issue is being raised again in the Assembly tonight is due to the still unanswered questions that have been asked by the Liberal opposition and crossbenchers and completely and arrogantly dismissed and ignored by the government, in particular the Chief Minister.

Let me provide you with some examples of this arrogance by the Chief Minister. On 3 August I asked the Chief Minister-and I quote from Hansard:

My question is directed to the Chief Minister. Where were you on the evening of Friday 17 January 2003, and what were you doing? Can you confirm that you failed to ask any questions about the approaching bushfires on the evening of 17 January?

The Chief Minister did not completely answer the question, with his reply being:

On the evening of Friday 17 January I was in Canberra.

This lack of detail moved me to ask the supplementary:


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