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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 8 Hansard (19 August) . . Page.. 2775..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Mr Cornwell has just indicated, the head of my department referred it to Mr McLeod for the purposes of his inquiry. Further than that, I have no indication that I can add to issues around the supply of-

Mr Smyth: Aren't you vaguely interested?

MR STANHOPE: There are a whole range of questions that we await the outcome of further inquiries into in relation to some of the details. At this stage, Mr Speaker, I have no further information on that matter.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question?

MR CORNWELL: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Surely the question of the tankers being offered and not used is extremely important.

MR SPEAKER: Come to the question, please.

MR CORNWELL ; Why did you not ask why this issue was not investigated by the McLeod inquiry before or after you accepted all 61 recommendations in toto?

MR STANHOPE: Mr McLeod, I think, in the way that he conducted this inquiry, acted in an exemplary way. I have enormous faith in Mr McLeod and in his abilities. They were broad terms of reference. Mr McLeod, admittedly, was given a relatively short time frame in which to complete his inquiry. Indeed, in the preface to this report, I think he goes to the fact that, of course, in the context of the time frame and in the context of the overriding need for us to have in place an analysis of our response to the January 18 bushfires, there were issues that he could not fully explore.

That is reasonable. That is why I commissioned the inquiry. I commissioned the inquiry so we would have available to us a detailed, objective, rigorous analysis of the lessons that needed to be learnt in relation to our response to the bushfire on January 18. That is precisely what Mr McLeod has delivered. Mr McLeod has delivered just that sort of report. It contains 61 recommendations. We have accepted the recommendations. We are implementing them.

Mr Smyth: Aren't you vaguely curious?

MR STANHOPE: I'm curious about a lot of things, Mr Smyth. I'm curious about a lot of things in relation to a whole range of issues. I'm curious about what the Liberal Party did in seven years in government in relation to emergency services. I'm curious to know what you did as minister for emergency services. I'm curious to know the extent to which it was your legacy, as minister for emergency services, that led to some of the mess which we're now fixing.

Bushfires-cabinet briefing

MR STEFANIAK: My question is also to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, the cabinet received a briefing on 16 January about the bushfires. What directions did cabinet give Emergency Services and did Emergency Services follow those directions?


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