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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 2 Hansard (23 February) . . Page.. 741..


example, a bushfire situation that may impact upon both the urban and rural areas of the ACT. In this circumstance it is critical that a single point of control is established and maintained—a key point identified in many reports into bushfires, including those I have mentioned earlier. With this bill, it is proposed that there be no ambiguity in the role of the commissioner to appoint a single point of control to ensure the effective and efficient coordination of resources.

These examples clearly illustrate the intent of the bill and demonstrate that its purpose is not to impose a layer of control over the chief officers of the services but to ensure that the optimum capability of the territory can be brought to bear on emergencies where the emergency is significant but falls short of the need to appoint an emergency controller.

Importantly, this bill empowers and supports the chief officers in achieving their statutory functions. This is achieved by providing the mechanisms by which support can be directed to them for more complex emergencies that are outside the capabilities of a single service and require a coordinated commitment of the territory's resources

To ensure that, in exercising an authority to give direction to a chief officer it is recognised that the commissioner requires relevant management and professional expertise to give such direction. This bill also includes the provision that the director-general may appoint a person as commissioner only if the person has the management, professional and technical expertise to exercise the commissioner's functions.

The bill does not purport to limit human rights to any materially different extent than is already provided for under the act. As a public authority for the purposes of the Human Rights Act 2004, the commissioner will continue to be obliged to act consistently with human rights when exercising the power to give a direction.

The bill I am introducing addresses the identified benefits of centralised coordination of the ACT's emergency services which will maximise the capacity and enhanced operability and training resources and provide the Canberra community with a further strengthened and effective multi-agency response to future emergency events.

I commend this bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to the next sitting.

Sitting suspended from 12.34 to 2 pm.

Questions without notice

Weston Park

MR SESELJA: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services. On 2 February 2012, a constituent wrote to you complaining about the disgraceful condition of Weston Park, including a stagnant water feature, rubbish around the playground and unclean toilets. Minister, why has Weston Park been allowed to get into this condition?


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