Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 8 Hansard (11 August) . .
fire. After careful assessment, it was agreed not to deploy ground crews—these would have been remote area firefighting crews—that evening, with a focus remaining with water bombing activity.
This was decided because the time of day provided a very limited amount of daylight, and the safety of ground crews was an important issue to be considered. The ground crews would have had to have been deployed by helicopter and in a limited capacity due to the remote and unfamiliar terrain. There was still active storm cell activity occurring. These storms would have increased the risk to the RAFT area crews being deployed by helicopters, particularly during breaching operations.
Walking ground crews in on the first night was considered but later ruled out due to the estimated walking time and the risks posed by the storm activity. If crews had walked in, it was estimated that they would have arrived on the fire line at approximately midnight. There would have been significant fatigue issues for firefighters which would have reduced their effectiveness in the hours between midnight and dawn, and the storm cells in the area presented a risk to firefighters through the possibility of falling trees or further lightning strike.
The area in question was burnt in the 2003 wildfire, which saw a large amount of dead standing timber. This would have seen many logs in the area, restricting access for ground crews. This was subsequently confirmed on the second day when RAFT members did walk in. It took them 3½ hours to walk the 2½ kilometres to the fire ground. To walk into the fire in darkness would have taken even longer. The fire was declared out on Thursday, 24 December following four days of patrol. The final size of the area burnt was 42 hectares.
Ms Burch: Madam Speaker.
MADAM SPEAKER: Ms Burch, do you have something to say in relation to what Mr Corbell has said?
Ms Burch: No, I have a point of order, Madam Speaker.
MADAM SPEAKER: Point of order. It helps if you say—
MS BURCH: I raise a point of order under 5AA, Madam Speaker. I have written to you twice now—
MADAM SPEAKER: No, I am dealing with matters arising from question time. That is not a point of order. Mr Gentleman, did you have something arising out of question time?
Planning—proposed new suburb of Thompson
MR GENTLEMAN: I do, thank you, Madam Speaker. It is a response to Mr Wall's supplementary question on 4 August in regard to bushfire risk in areas of western Greenway. I can advise Mr Wall that the Environment and Planning Directorate has advised me that no development applications have been formally rejected for sites in
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