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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 10 (19 October) . . Page.. 3314..


MR PRATT (continuing):

$50,000 white box in their vehicle so that they can be tracked, when they are quite happy to give a locstat, or location status, by voice over the radio network—or perhaps even an enhancement of the old CAD system. You have left all of those systems behind and you have wasted a lot of money. Some of that money could have been spent on your vehicles, for one thing. It is outrageous that these fundamental capabilities are simply not in place and that a lot of money has been spent on them.

Both yesterday and today we have talked about other issues. We have talked about banking matters for the volunteer agencies. Minister, you could have moved within days to solve a problem which is affecting the morale of our volunteer units and brigades. We require these people to be on their toes now, to be focusing on the job now, to get ready for this bushfire season, and they are worrying about the traditional managers of their bank accounts. That is unacceptable. We have only 28 out of a promised 50-odd community fire units. Forty-five kilometres of the urban edge is still uncovered. According to Stateline two weeks ago, Duffy does not have a community fire unit.

Minister, you have failed. You said that we are light years ahead. On Stateline on the 29th, you said that you are confident. You have failed. You deserve to be censured. The people of Canberra deserve better support than this. And your volunteers need the support that this government has not given them.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (3.25): I rise to support Mr Pratt's motion. What he has said is an accurate portrayal of the failure of this minister. Simon Corbell will go down in the history of the ACT Assembly as the minister who failed. He failed in education, he failed in health, and now he is failing to adequately administer the Emergency Services Agency.

In education he failed to address the values, the standards and the discipline issues. He failed to address the problems in government high schools and he failed to address the drift from government to non-government. Instead, he tried to remove religious education. Thankfully he failed and was removed, because of that, to health.

Mr Stanhope: Mr Speaker, I wish to raise a point of order. None of this is relevant.

MR SMYTH: It is relevant. It is okay; I will keep going.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The motion that was moved was in relation to the emergency services portfolio and, in particular, the actions of the Minister for Police and Emergency Services.

MR SMYTH: All right, Mr Speaker. In emergency services we already have a minister who hides behind the notion, "It is operational matter. Therefore, it is not my responsibility. It is the responsibility of the department."That is not so, minister. You are responsible for the actions of your department. After all, the Stanhope government ministerial code of conduct says on page 3:

Ministers are individually accountable to the Assembly for the administration of their department and agencies.


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