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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 3 Hansard (13 March) . . Page.. 454..

Mr Smyth: No, participation has fallen.

MR BARR: Those opposite can continue to carp and harp and to seek to find a negative in everything, as they are expert in doing.

Mr Smyth: Read the stats.

MR BARR: Old killjoy Smyth up the back there has nothing good to say about anything in this city. He is the most depressing man in this Assembly. He never has anything good to say. We know why, though. We have discovered in recent weeks why that is.

Mr Stanhope: We certainly have.

MR BARR: We certainly have discovered why that is. Others can judge Mr Smyth's reputation, but we all know what he has been up to. He has never had anything positive to say about the good things that are occurring in this city and in our community.

The second round of sports grants is targeting those in our community who deserve additional support to stay physically active, and it is a key component of this government's commitment to our actively ageing framework and to seeing a continuation of physical activity throughout people's life cycles. (Time expired.)

Emergency services—warnings

MR MULCAHY: My question is to the minister for emergency services. Minister, last month residents and businesses of the ACT, particularly in the inner north, were subjected to a storm that caused widespread damage to property and caused the closure of businesses and services.

The Acting Commissioner of the Emergency Services Agency acknowledged the ESA's failure to issue a general public alert in a timely fashion, despite notification by the Bureau of Meteorology at 9 pm, of a severe storm heading for direct impact on the ACT. Why did the Stanhope government again fail to warn the community about a serious threat to its safety?

MR CORBELL: The government was not involved in the process of determining a warning to the community. As members should know, the ESA has operational independence. It makes decisions about whether or not a warning should be issued. The decision was taken within the ESA itself without reference to me as minister and without reference to any other member of the government as to how that situation should be addressed.

As members would appreciate, the storm event itself proceeded into the central area of Canberra very quickly, and I think it has been acknowledged that, even if a warning had been given, it is unlikely that much action could have been taken to alleviate the damage.

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