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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 3 Hansard (14 March) . . Page.. 529..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

of retail trade, with the greatest level of housing start-ups—to have to deal with one implication of that, namely, a significant and particular sort of counter effect, namely, there simply are not enough people in the territory to fill all the jobs that have been made available as a result of five strong years of economic growth and activity, and of business confidence within the ACT.

We have responded through the establishment of—the only jurisdiction in Australia to appoint and establish—a high-powered task force such as the Skills Commission headed up by Professor Chubb and on which there are a number of significant and learned members of the Canberra community. They are working hard and I do expect some quite far-sighted initiatives to emerge from them. The Live in Canberra campaign, which is very successful, is now being emulated by other governments around Australia. I know that the Queensland government has picked it up. The Live in Canberra campaign essentially has been picked up by the Queensland government. It has worked particularly well. We have just come back from the Illawarra where there was a tremendous response to the Live in Canberra campaign.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order!

MR STANHOPE: On top of that the revitalisation of the skilled and business migration program is now beginning to show enormous effects within just the last 18 months, somewhere in excess of 200 people being attracted to the ACT as a result of that. (Time expired.)

Bushfires—declaration of state of emergency

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, you said in your statement to the coroner that Mr Keady contacted you to invite you to a meeting at the ESB early in the afternoon on 18 January. The time of this call was later established as 12.40 pm.

Chief Minister, was the phone call from Mr Keady on 18 January 2003 at 12.40 pm to request you to attend a meeting at ESB headquarters to consider the possibility of the declaration of a state of emergency? If not, what meeting did Mr Keady invite you to? How long did it take you to get to the ESB after this call?

MR STANHOPE: This particular issue has been covered in my statements to the coronial inquest. It was a matter before the inquest. I refer the member to the transcript.

MR SMYTH: I ask a supplementary question. Chief Minister, why did the people of Canberra have to wait until 3 pm before they received a warning about the bushfires, even though the situation was serious enough to warrant the consideration of a state of emergency at 12.40 pm?

MR STANHOPE: This matter was covered by the coronial inquest. I refer the member to the transcript.


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