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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 8 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 2418..


MR SPEAKER: Chief Minister, cease interjecting.

Mr Stanhope: Watch out for the uppercut—the left jab—

MR SPEAKER: Chief Minister, cease interjecting, please.

MR PRATT: Take your Mogadon and sit back quietly, thank you, Chief Minister.

MR SPEAKER: Order!

MR PRATT: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services.

Mr Stanhope: Have you been questioned by the police yet over your alleged criminal activity?

MR SPEAKER: Order! Chief Minister, cease interjecting.

MR PRATT: Did that scrape you to the bone, Chief Minister? You have a glass jaw, mate.

My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Yesterday in question time you said, in answering a question about the FireLink project:

The Emergency Services Authority advised cabinet that a global amount was required for upgrade of communications systems.

The report on FireLink from the Auditor-General clearly establishes that cabinet approved global funding for the upgrade of the communications system in May 2003.

Mr Stanhope: Following seven years of Liberal neglect.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Chief Minister, I have asked you to stop interjecting.

MR PRATT: The Emergency Services Authority was not established until 1 July 2004—that is 10 months later—so you cannot blame it. The former commissioner of the authority was not appointed until 17 November 2003—six months after the global approval—so you cannot blame him either. Minister, on what basis can you assert that the Emergency Services Authority advised cabinet about this spending proposal when it did not even exist?

MR CORBELL: I am happy to stand corrected on the technicalities, if Mr Pratt is insistent on that. The reality remains unchanged. Following 2003, the government had already made clear its intention to establish an independent authority, and any suggestion that the ESB continued to be subservient to the wishes of the Department of Justice and Community Safety simply belies the facts. Imagine the criticism this government would have come under from those opposite if we had insisted that the ESB in its process of transition to the authority required itself to be subject to the views of the Department of Justice and Community Safety. The practical reality—and all those who were in this place at that time know it—is that the ESB was already de


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