Page 76 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 8 February 2022

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them, along with staff and volunteers across the ESA, for their support of residents in west Belconnen following the storm in early January.

With the ongoing wet conditions, the bushfire risk has, thankfully, remained low so far this season. The ACT Rural Fire Service and ACT Fire & Rescue remain prepared and ready to respond if needed. Our firefighters continue to proactively prepare, with ongoing skill and maintenance training, as well as monitoring areas for heightened risk. We have also established new processes and invested in new technical tools and skills to further enhance our emergency preparedness and response capability. While our emergency services personnel remain ready to respond to storms and bushfires, this is a timely reminder to all Canberrans to know what they can do in an emergency. Survival plans and information about emergency preparedness can be downloaded at

MS ORR: Minister, how has the Emergency Services Agency been keeping Canberrans safe?

MR GENTLEMAN: ESA remains well prepared to respond to all emergencies, despite the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Canberrans can be assured that resources continue to be available to support and protect our community, and always will be. All of our ESA personnel, including our firefighters and paramedics, are continuing their business-as-usual activities to support the community, working 24/7 to respond to calls for assistance and keep Canberrans safe. We have put in place strong business continuity plans to manage a range of impacts which could affect our staff and volunteers. Careful planning and preparedness have enabled ESA staff and volunteers to keep our community safe while contributing to the pandemic response and supporting other government agencies leading the recovery efforts from recent storms.

I commend all services for continuing to demonstrate high levels of commitment and dedication whilst dealing with the challenges of COVID-19. Together we will continue to ensure that Canberra remains well protected and we are able to respond effectively to all emergencies.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, what role has the ESA played in the government’s COVID-19 pandemic response?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Pettersson for his interest in our safety as well. Our Emergency Services Agency has been supporting the whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 health pandemic, once again helping our community when they need it most. From assisting with contact tracing, compliance checks and welfare support at testing sites to delivering goods to vulnerable members of our community, our emergency services staff and volunteers have been stepping up to help where they can.

Most recently, ESA has been working in collaboration with ACT Education and ACT Health to prepare and deliver rapid antigen tests to schools across Canberra, with volunteers and staff distributing approximately 20,000 RAT packages per day. They

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