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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 13 Hansard (28 November) . . Page.. 4983 ..


former colleague Amanda Bresnan. The problem with a lot of those is that they are fine if you are someone on Newstart who has some spare time, but if you are a single parent on the minimum income you simply do not have time to organise approval to go on this scheme, because you do not have the concession card, so you are going to have to see Care financial to get them to say that you are broke enough to be on it. Then, if you are looking for significant hours of community work, you quite possibly do not have the time or the capability to do it.

The government has done the right thing in the past, but we need to now look at the people that it is not working for. As Mr Barr said, the people who have a moderate income and are renters are people who it is not working for. I am glad that there is universal agreement that we need to improve rates notices, and I look forward to no longer getting emails about them. I thank all members for their support for low income Canberrans who are doing it tough and I look forward to a fairer Canberra in the future.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bushfires—prescribed burns

MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (3.53): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) the need to protect Canberrans against bushfires; and

(b) only 24.3 percent of prescribed burns were completed in the 2017-18 Bushfire Operations Plan, while only seven percent of prescribed burns were completed in 2016-17;

(2) further notes the bushfire season commenced one month earlier than usual, on 1 September 2018; and

(3) calls on the ACT Government to investigate methods of increasing the burning capacity during periods of suitable weather conditions and to report back to the Assembly by the end of the 2018-19 bushfire season.

I am pleased to speak to the motion that is in my name on the notice paper relating to back-burning and bushfire protection. I note that an amendment from the minister has been circulated, and I will comment on that a bit later. I also note that Minster Rattenbury is circulating an amendment to the amendment. I hope this does not take us all evening; I am sure it will be straightforward once we get into it.

Canberra is the bush capital. It is a badge that we wear with honour. We are surrounded by nature and our city is lined with open green spaces, nature reserves and parklands. We have many homes backing onto sweeping reserves, along the fringes of our city and between the town centres. However, being this sort of capital comes with responsibilities. We all know in this place, and some more than others, how severely Canberra is prone to bushfire. We were reminded of the horrors of the massive 2003 bushfires when, earlier this month, Pierces Creek was on fire, just eight


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