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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (4 March) . . Page.. 418..


MS TUCKER (continuing):

well, but I am not sure how it is going to be funded. I would not like to see that having to come out of the existing funds of Environment ACT or Urban Services. I am interested in hearing the government's response on that.

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming) (10.44): I thank the committee for the work they have done-it was a lot of work in a very short space of time. On face value, they are to be congratulated on the report. Obviously, the government will do its level best to adopt the recommendations put forward.

In relation to the recommendation for separate accounting over the next five quarters, that may not be as simple as it looks. I will certainly discuss it with Treasury, but where do you draw the line between what people are doing work-wise and whether it is possible to effectively set up parallel accounting for street maintenance versus street restoration? We will have to work that through, but we will certainly try to let the Assembly know what the costs are. It is important for us to know what the costs are-especially those costs that would qualify for national disaster recovery arrangements. Therefore we will be doing our level best to make sure we can provide that information.

Usually, at this time, after a disaster of such magnitude as this, one might look at risk management strategies and the performance of the strategies that were in place. I must confess I had no idea that an event of this magnitude would occur. I had no idea that the wall of flame of which I have seen photographs could be created. It was a phenomenal event that brings a whole new perspective.

In my office, we received some photographs of the wall of flame heading for Kambah. The houses take up about one-eighth of the frame, whilst the wall of fire takes up about two-thirds. It is a horrific sight. Like everybody else, I retain a concern that 20-20 hindsight may unearth a whole lot of things that might have been thought of, but which probably would never have been thought of by anybody at the time. The imagination, or concept of what might happen, occurs to the mind only after the event. Anyway, I trust that everybody will go into the inquiry, and re-examination phase, with an open mind.

Regarding Ms Tucker's point on Planning and Land Management, the government's attitude is that we want to facilitate the restoration of homes as soon as possible. We want people to be in a situation where at least the physical scale of this disaster is behind them. That there will always be a margin somewhere in how much people want to change-the point where is it the restoration of an existing home, with some modern enhancements, and where is it a change-so a little tolerance, please. However, be assured that the attitude is to try to make sure that everybody can be put back into at least the physical environment they enjoyed before the fire occurred. I thank the committee.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Legal Affairs-Standing Committee

Scrutiny report No 26

MR STEFANIAK (10.49): I present the following report:


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