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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (20 November) . . Page.. 3552..


MR BARR (continuing):

with education—to deliver something new and innovative to build on the success that we have already here in the ACT.

Look at examples elsewhere in Australia such as the school in Enfield in Adelaide, South Australia, which the ministers for education and early childhood had the opportunity to visit last year. There are successful working models here in the ACT and elsewhere in Australia. There is clear national and international research that backs investment in early childhood education.

It is disappointing that the Greens are not supporting this. However, I hope to be able to convince Dr Foskey and the Greens of the merits of this early childhood investment. We look forward to the delivery of these additional schools with $10 million worth of start-up capital to ensure that they are first-class early childhood education providers. This territory needs further provision of early childhood education. We look forward to working with an incoming Rudd Labor government to enhance the provision of early childhood education in the ACT.

Emergency services—restructure

MR PRATT: My question is to the minister for emergency services. Minister, on 3 July 2007, after three months of dissent by the volunteer brigades and units, Commissioner Manson, via an email sent to all volunteers, undertook:

... that I will progress the current restructure of ESA with a review on 1 November 2007 and post fire season, 1 May 2008, to confirm that the benefits envisaged are being delivered to RFS. The review will be a round table of CEO JACS, FCG, VBA and Bush Fire Council representatives. The terms of the review will be agreed between the parties by Monday, 1 October 2007. If, at the time of these reviews, it is agreed that the benefits envisaged to RFS are not being achieved, I will revert back to a Chief Officer and Deputy Chief Officer of the RFS, reporting direct to the ESA Commissioner.

Minister, what is the status of this promised review?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Pratt for the question. The status of that review is that the terms of reference are still being discussed between the commissioner and the representatives of volunteers. Once that discussion is complete—

Mr Smyth: Are you sure?

MR CORBELL: Yes, I am sure. The reason for that is as follows, I am advised. The commissioner supplied those terms of reference to the representative of the VBA—I think it was earlier this week or late last week. So, regrettably, there has been a delay. Those discussions are ongoing. Once that is agreed, the review will be able to take place.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Pratt?

MR PRATT: Minister, given the failure of you and your officials to meet those organisational review lines that the VBA and other volunteers have been looking


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