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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 4 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 944..


Supplementary answers to questions without notice

Emergency services-Cooleman Ridge plan

MR STANHOPE: Dr Foskey asked a question yesterday about Cooleman Ridge and what arrangements were in place for the outcomes of the consultation process to be reported to the government. I have some further information on that issue. Cooleman Ridge is currently going through the planning phase for proposed works to reduce fuel loads, as required by the strategic bushfire management plan. Cooleman Ridge is designated land under the national capital plan and the proposed works require approval from the National Capital Authority. Cooleman Ridge also includes communities and species listed under the commonwealth's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, and approval for the proposed works is also required from the commonwealth Department of the Environment and Water Resources.

The ACT Department of Territory and Municipal Services has engaged a consultant to develop the planning documentation required to seek the necessary approvals. I can confirm, Dr Foskey, that the current consultants are not engaged to undertake any of the activity that might follow consistent with the strategic bushfire management plan. The community were informed through local media of two community consultation forums to inform them of the proposed works and to discuss any concerns. Issues raised by the community will inform the works approval and environmental approval documentation that will be submitted to the National Capital Authority and to the commonwealth Department of the Environment and Water Resources and that documentation is being prepared by the consultant that I just mentioned had been engaged.

Schools-closures

MR BARR: In question time today Dr Foskey asked me about savings that were achieved from the school closures program. I indicated in my answer that those were outlined in the 2006-07 budget. That is incorrect. I should have advised that they were those that were outlined in the 2006 budget, modified by the decisions that we made at the end of December, so that the savings were those that were outlined in my announcement to the Assembly in late December.

I should, of course, advise also that the money that has been saved is being reinvested in ACT government schools. I have made a series of announcements about where that money is being reinvested-more than 223 projects across 70 schools in the first year, and we are in the first year of a four-year program that outlays $20 million into information technology, so those savings, as I said, that were outlined in my statement to the Assembly in late December of last year.

Estimates 2007-2008-Select Committee

Membership

MR SPEAKER: I have been notified in writing of the following nominations for membership of the Select Committee on Estimates 2007-2008: Mrs Burke, Dr Foskey, Mr Gentleman, Ms Porter and Mr Stefaniak.


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