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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 2 Hansard (13 February) . . Page.. 499..


In aged care and rehab, the difference was 0.1 of a per cent which relates to two hours. There had been a two-hour change in that. From the previous year, it had improved from 2.2 days. I am very confident that the comments I have made, when seen in the context that I made them and compared to the report I was quoting from—a report that Mr Hanson compared it to—were accurate.

Bushfires—management

MR CORBELL: In question time today Mr Smyth asked me a follow-up question in relation to debriefs for fires during the January period. I am advised by the Emergency Services Agency Commissioner that the formal debriefs will occur at the end of the bushfire danger period—that is, after the end of March. At that time the Rural Fire Service will conduct a series of formal debriefs of brigades which will then be followed by an ESA debrief of all agencies.

I am also advised that the ESA Commissioner has met with RFS brigade captains and reports from those present at his meeting were generally positive of bushfire operations to date, in both the ACT and with respect to appointments to New South Wales. I am further advised that feedback to brigades has been very positive from community members in the district of Bungendore, and surrounding Bungendore, due to the efforts of RFS brigades during their deployments direct to the Sand Hill fire at Bungendore earlier in January. My thanks go to all of those brigades for their deployment, particularly to Bungendore, to the serious fire they encountered there.

Aboriginal reconciliation—national apology to stolen generation

Statement by minister

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for Ageing), by leave: Today marks the fifth anniversary of the Prime Minister's apology to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were so grievously hurt by the Australian government's past policies and practices for forcibly removing Indigenous children from their families, families that can be recognised as the stolen generation.

The apology was a deeply moving affair and the apology by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd became a defining moment not just for the Australian government in accepting responsibility for the destructive policies of the past but for our nation in openly acknowledging our history and the grief that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had suffered.

I would also like to acknowledge that the ACT was one of the first states and territories to offer our own unique apology under then Chief Minister Kate Carnell in 1997. This was a proud moment for the Assembly, a time when our Assembly had demonstrated leadership to others in this country. The Prime Minister's speech on 13 February 2008 was a clear call for genuine reconciliation to properly begin to provide a real basis for the deep hurts to begin healing. It was a heartfelt and sincere speech, and one that resonated nationally and even globally.


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