Page 1064 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 3 May 2022

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I want to conclude by again thanking all of those who have been a part of developing this strategy and who are contributing to the implementation of phase 1. Early childhood education is one of the most powerful levers that exist for building and strengthening an equitable, inclusive and connected community. Contributing to Set up for Success is contributing to this kind of community. I present the following paper:

Set up for Success: An Early Childhood Strategy for the ACT—Phase One Implementation Plan—Ministerial statement, Tuesday, 3 May 2022.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

High-risk weather season—summary 2021-22

Ministerial statement

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (11.10): I rise today to provide the Assembly and the community with a summary of the 2021-22 high-risk weather season for bushfires and storms. I would like to take this opportunity to commend the ACT Emergency Services Agency—ESA—and the ACT Parks and Conservation Service—PCS—for their collaborative efforts in preparing for and protecting the ACT community during the 2021-22 high-risk weather season.

Although it proved to be another challenging season, filled with diverse incidents ranging from storm response to COVID-19 operations, Canberra remained well informed and protected, thanks to the dedication of our hardworking volunteers and staff. I would like to pass on my sincere gratitude to all of those involved in keeping the Canberra community safe.

The Australian government Bureau of Meteorology declared a La Niña alert for the 2021-22 summer period. Much like last year, it has been a very wet season, with higher than average rainfall, and our community, personnel and volunteers have overcome some significant challenges resulting from increased storm activity.

With above-average rainfall and cooler conditions this season, the risks from heatwave and bushfire to the ACT were deemed “average” in comparison to historic records. While increased rainfall events reduced the overall risk of forest fire ignitions over the summer months, the rapid growth in grasslands and intermediate hot days meant that the risk of grass fires was still prevalent in the ACT community.

While the wet weather conditions decreased the risk of grass and forest fires within the ACT, the dedication and hard work of ACT Rural Fire Service volunteers and

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