Page 4056 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 30 November 2022

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execs and senior incident management personnel. This was designed to undertake a more thorough program of incident management practices, to elevate the outputs of the ESA incident management team to include a greater focus on planning.

I recently had the pleasure of attending an incident planning exercise at ESA headquarters, where I was provided with a unique opportunity to be part of the exercise and witness firsthand the preparation and planning activities that members of the ESA and PCS undertake. Through that personal experience I have every confidence in the work being undertaken by these agencies to prepare for and respond to natural hazards. As a Canberran, I am confident that we will all be well supported by our emergency services during the high-risk weather season.

The ESA is also working hard to increase community awareness, through the Be Ready campaign. This campaign invested in integrated media placement and utilised digital, radio and print advertising to encourage the Canberra community to complete their emergency service plan. On 29 October members from across our four emergency services took part in the Be Emergency Ready day, which saw members from across the Canberra community visit sites to learn how they can be prepared for the season. This day was also the first opportunity for the ACT Rural Fire Service to display their newly launched Australian fire danger rating system.

DR PATERSON: Minister, can you please explain how the Australian fire danger rating system works?

MR GENTLEMAN: It was launched on 1 September by the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council, AFAC. It has been implemented across Australia as the first commonly used system to display potential fire danger. The system describes the potential level of danger a community could face, should a fire start—much different than it used to before. The fire danger ratings are used before the fire starts.

The ESA has been part of the national project to update the AFDRS, including both the public-facing signage and the science behind the ratings. The new system has fewer levels and uses logical colours and terms to improve people’s comprehension of both the system and the personal risk. This nationally consistent system is expected to improve cross-border operations and interstate sharing of firefighting resources. Additionally, consistency will reduce confusion for both international and interstate travellers, and those living in border regions as well.

Our city, as I have tried to say, is well prepared, better prepared than ever before, and this is because of the hard work of our staff across government and of course our volunteers. There is, however, only so much preparation that can be done by directorates and agencies. I encourage the community to be prepared as well. It is a shared responsibility. I encourage all Canberrans to visit the ESA website at to learn more about the new fire danger rating system and how they can be prepared for the high-risk weather season. Together, we can all play our part in keeping our community safe.

Mr Barr: Sunny days ahead, Madam Speaker. I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

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