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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 8 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 3022..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

when she is simply wrong. She should apologise to those members of the community to whom she made those claims.

This financial year, ACTION no longer has a debt to the Commonwealth government, which previously represented around a $2 million annual repayment, and has made efficiencies to ensure that it is as efficient as other public sector transport providers. However, I think Ms Dundas thinks that, because ACTION is no longer paying off the loan, that somehow amounts to a cut. She is simply wrong. She knew she was wrong when this was raised in the Estimates Committee but she is still out there in the community saying that there is a decrease in funding to ACTION.

In her brochure, Ms Dundas lists improvements that she wants to make to ACTION. I think she has been reading my media releases because her improvements comprised initiatives that the government has already announced. I think Ms Dundas should reflect on that a bit more.

Wait, there is more, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Order.

MR CORBELL: Ms Dundas is not only claiming credit for the government's transport initiatives, but she is also claiming credit for a number of other initiatives, including the Kippax library, $2 million in this year's budget; mental health workers, over $1 million in this year's budget; and the government's discrimination reforms. Mr Speaker, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Before I give the call for the next question, I wish to inform members of the presence in the gallery of Mr Matthew Brown MP, chairman of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales, Mr Paul McLeay MP, vice chairman of the committee, and Mr David Monk, secretary of the committee. I welcome you to the Assembly.

Bushfires-declaration of state of emergency

MRS CROSS: My question is to the Chief Minister, Mr Stanhope. Minister, on Tuesday you mentioned that you, the head of emergency services, the head of the AFP and the head of your department sat down and discussed the issues regarding the bushfires and their management on the morning of Saturday, 18 January. In fact, I will quote your words:

I made that decision on the basis of advice tendered to me by Mr Robert Tonkin, Mr Tim Keady and Mr Mike Castle in company with Mr John Murray and Mr Peter Lucas-Smith. I sought explicit advice from them.

All the indications at that time were that Canberrans would be facing a grave situation. I have read through the many documents that have been provided with the McLeod report. Chief Minister, I am curious to know why, given the gravity of the situation-you cannot deny that it was obvious that the outlook was bleak, even if the best-case scenario had occurred-you did not declare a state of emergency until 2.45 pm. I understand that the


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