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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 3 Hansard (13 March) . . Page.. 456..


MR SPEAKER: So far as I can make out it was, I suggest, intended to disrupt the member, which is contrary to standing order 39. I did not hear it; so all I can do is state that if you said that, Mr Smyth, Mr Corbell is obviously offended by what is suggested. If you said that I would ask you to withdraw it.

Mr Smyth: Mr Speaker, at your direction I will withdraw, but I did not mention Mr Corbell in the question to Mr Pratt. I withdraw.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you very much, Mr Smyth.

Mr Pratt: In any case the answer is no. No, Mr Smyth, he resigned in disgust.

MR CORBELL: It is the typical grubby politics we can expect from Mr Smyth.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Let us leave it there and we will go on with the answer to the question.

MR CORBELL: Thank you, Mr Speaker, but it is typical of the grubby politics we can expect from Mr Smyth.

Mr Mulcahy: Point of order, Mr Speaker. I want to hear why he doesn't want to take any responsibility.

MR SPEAKER: Order, please, everybody! Mr Smyth has withdrawn it. Let us get on with the answer to the question.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, it is unfortunate that those allegations continue to be made by those opposite without any foundation. But it is—

Mr Mulcahy: Point of order, Mr Speaker. You have asked the minister to move back onto the question. He continues to labour an issue which you have dealt with. I would like him to explain what steps he has taken to ensure that the ESA warns people about serious threats. It is not an unreasonable request.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Members of the opposition will cease interjecting. Mr Corbell, come to the subject matter of the question.

MR CORBELL: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Unlike those opposite, and particularly the fairly grubby approach adopted by Mr Smyth, I have full confidence in the Emergency Services Agency. Matters about warning are an operational matter for the ESA. The ESA determines whether or not warnings should be given. They make that judgment based on information available to them. As members opposite would know, the ESA has operational independence that is enshrined in the Emergencies Act and this is a classic example of it. It is their responsibility, under law, to make decisions about emergency preparedness and response.

They have the statutory responsibility to determine whether or not certain things should be done in response to an emergency, or pending an emergency, and they are responsible for ensuring that those things are done at the time that they believe they


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