Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 2 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 200..
MRS BURKE: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Why has Network 06 failed to meet the needs of our students?
MR HARGREAVES: Firstly, I think I have already answered that question.
Mrs Burke: So it hasn't been-
MR HARGREAVES: Secondly, it is a very responsive service.
Mrs Burke: Ah-
MR HARGREAVES: I cannot answer the mumblings unless they are addressed through you, Mr Speaker. I cannot respond to mumblings.
Mrs Burke: I just said, "Ah."
MR HARGREAVES: I reject the notion that the school bus service is not being responsive to the students. I think that Mrs Burke ought to come back into the real world.
MR PRATT: My question is to the Minister for Emergency Services, Mr Corbell. Minister, in August 2003 your government accepted the most important recommendation from the McLeod inquiry-to establish an independent emergency services authority, with the commissioner reporting directly to the minister. In mid-2006 your government repudiated that decision and reduced the authority to an agency that has been subsumed into the bureaucracy.
Today you have announced more changes to the management of emergency services that have inserted yet a further link in the bureaucratic chain of command: service heads will now report to a deputy chief commissioner. There will now be five reporting layers in emergency services-not the two layers recommended by McLeod. Minister, why have you lengthened the chain of command for emergency services between you and your emergency service chiefs?
MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, Mr Pratt's question shows his fundamental lack of understanding of this issue. I am not in command of the emergency services when it comes to operational matters, and this is the issue that Mr Pratt seems to continually draw on. On the one hand, he says, "We don't want people telling the experts what to do,"but then he asks me in his question, "Why are you putting so many links between your command of the emergency services and the people on the ground?"
I am not in command of the emergency services. The emergency services do not ring me up and say, "Minister, is it all right if we send three vehicles to this fire over here at East O'Malley?"That might be the way that Mr Pratt would run the emergency services if he, God help us, were ever the minister. I can imagine him getting out there with the maps and the radio-he would want to have a radio on his desk, I reckon, so that he could listen in and hear what was going on. That is the sort of approach we get