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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 10 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 3045..


MR QUINLAN (continuing):

their own territory, before necessarily adhering to the propositions being put forward by their federal counterparts that the leave entitlement and the leave that people will take be wound back, because that would have more than an impact upon the individual and more than an impact upon people recreating, relaxing and spending some quality time with their family and friends. Ask them also to look at the very substantial potential impact upon tourism within Australia and, of course, the consequential impact upon the number of jobs that can be sustained within the tourism industry.

Emergency Services Authority

DR FOSKEY: My question is directed to the Minister for Urban Services. I believe that the Emergency Services Authority expressed a desire to acquire the space currently occupied by the Teddy Bears Child Care Centre in Curtin in May, and that there have been ongoing negotiations over possible alternative premises for the centre. Today's Canberra Times states that the Emergency Services Authority has now declared the site a possible terrorist target. Can you please articulate the basis of this declaration and prove to me that it is not merely for the purpose of speeding up the relocation of the childcare centre?

MR HARGREAVES: If Dr Foskey read this in the Canberra Times it must be true! It is gospel according to the Canberra Times; therefore, we start from the premise that it is gospel-a dangerous premise. One needs to understand a few things about this whole process. I will now run through a couple of them for you. The first licence of the Teddy Bears Child Care Centre started in Curtin in April 1992. It preceded the then Emergency Services Bureau by about 12 months.

The current licence expires next month and has the capacity to be informally extended on a month-by-month basis. That is the understanding of the current proprietor. It is a commercial enterprise. That proprietor understood that, when the current licence expires, it would be on a month-to-month basis. However, the offer of a six-month licence was made to the operator at Teddy Bears, Mr Mark Gillett, to provide some certainty whilst Teddy Bears continued to look for new premises.

The Department of Urban Services contacted Mr Gillett on Monday, 22 August 2005-yesterday, for the benefit of those opposite; not your good self, Dr Foskey-and advised him by telephone of the offer of a six-month licence at the expiry of the current licence at the end of September. Documentation offering the extended licence will be provided by tomorrow, I understand. The operator responded to the offer by advising that a six-month lease was unsatisfactory to him. If he tried that with Leader Real Estate, I imagine he would have a good response. The former CityScape depot in the Phillip trades area was identified by the department as being a possible suitable alternative. However, the proprietor looked at the site, on his own, and advised that it was not suitable.

I now come directly to your question Dr Foskey. The McLeod report, subsequent to the 2003 bushfires, had, as one of its major recommendations, the creation of the ESA, particularly the emergency coordination centre. Co-located with that, and across a smaller area, is the communications area in the ESA. Other parts of the ESA-such as the training, corporate services area and media areas-are a bit more removed. Those two areas are the closest to the childcare centre. These two areas are the sensitive areas.


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