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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 1 Hansard (15 February) . . Page.. 272..


Motion (by Mr Corbell) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Emergency Services Agency—headquarters

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (9:05): I rise on the adjournment this evening to correct some matters that Mr Smyth raised in the debate in the Assembly yesterday. Yesterday in the Assembly Mr Smyth sought to claim, yet again, that the ESA headquarters at Fairbairn is constructed on a flood zone, or a "flood plain"were his words. This is despite the fact that Mr Smyth was advised on 23 May last year by me in an answer to a question on notice that the ESA headquarters at Fairbairn was assessed and constructed consistent with planning requirements to locate structures outside of the one-in-100-year flood level.

We are getting to the point with Mr Smyth in relation to matters such as this that we need to create a new category. I am going to suggest that we call these sorts of issues SmythBusters. Members would be aware of the show MythBusters, where a couple of people go and test out all the urban myths. Well, we have got Brendan Smyth's urban myths, and I think from now on we will call them SmythBusters.

This is one of the SmythBusters. Mr Smyth has presented no evidence to back up his claim that the ESA headquarters is located on a flood plain or in a flood zone, and apparently he is quite happy—

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Stop the clocks, thank you. One moment, Mr Corbell. Members, I am having trouble hearing Mr Corbell. Let us turn it down a bit, thank you.

MR CORBELL: Apparently Mr Smyth is not satisfied with the answer I gave him that it is outside the one-in-100-year flood level, despite the fact he has no evidence to the contrary. To assist Mr Smyth further, and as I have already proposed to deal with this in the manner of a SmythBuster, I refer further to some particular advice—advice from the then ACT Planning and Land Authority received on 24 May last year:

... the ESA headquarters at 9 Amberley Avenue in Fairbairn is at a ground level of approximately RL 575.0 m ... The one in 100 year flood level in the Molonglo River, adjacent to the headquarters is RL 561.7 m. As such the headquarters would not be subject to flooding from a 1 in 100 year flood event in the Molonglo River. Flood planning in the ACT locates all new residential and commercial development above the1 in 100 year flood level.

But it gets better:

The corresponding flood level in the Molonglo River for the one-in-1,000 year flood event is 563.2.

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