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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 6 Hansard (9 June) . .

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The Assembly voted—

Ayes 7: Mr Coe Mr Doszpot Mrs Dunne Mrs Jones Ms Lawder Mr Smyth Mr Wall

Noes 8: Mr Barr Ms Berry Dr Bourke Mr Corbell Ms Fitzharris Mr Gentleman Mr Hinder Mr Rattenbury

Question so resolved in the negative.

Amendments negatived.

Bill, as a whole, agreed to.

Bill agreed to.

Emergencies Amendment Bill 2016

Debate resumed from 5 May 2016 on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (5.34): The opposition will be opposing some clauses in this bill tonight and whilst not voting against the rest of it, we will not necessarily be supporting it. I think there are significant concerns in this bill and significant concerns about the bill expressed by the people who will be most affected by it, that is, the members of the United Firefighters Union, the firefighters of Fire & Rescue and the volunteers in the Rural Fire Service.

The bill has been on the table for only a month. There are briefings still going on. Indeed, the captains of the volunteer brigades are being briefed tonight. I think a simple adjournment would have been the most effective answer. I was going to move it but in the interests of time I will keep going.

The problem is that I think much in this bill is uncertain. I think from the very start some of the process has been somewhat poor. I went back to an email I received last year from one of the members of the Rural Fire Service known to all of us, who wrote a letter to all of the politicians in the ACT, irrespective of what party they belonged to. He wrote, "I express my disgust at another review of our emergency services."

Then he went on to point out that the information provided in the review was simply wrong. The whole basis on which it was undertaken had inaccuracies in it. I think that this has a consequence for some of the recommendations in the review. For instance, the review recommended changes to the consultation role of the council. The act currently provides that the council has a consultation role in relation to the appointment by the minister or the chief officer or deputy chief officer of the Rural Fire Service and in relation to the appointment of the chief officer of volunteer members of RFS of senior rank.


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