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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (24 September) . . Page.. 3612..


MRS BURKE: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I thank the minister for the answer. Minister, why would you be applying subtle pressure on certain tenants of Novar Street to encourage them to move on, which we all know is code for booting them out?

MR WOOD: I think that you are prone to making fairly strong statements that you cannot support. It is unquestionably the practice-it was when I was sitting over there-that tenants have sometimes suggested that we can find them a nice new place. I know that in opposition I negotiated with tenants on a couple of occasions when a house was really beyond its economic life and it was hard to justify putting money into it and occupational health and safety issues came into it. I was able, working cooperatively with government, to say to people, "Here's a beaut place for you. Would you like to go there?"

I do not think that that is booting someone out; I really do not. I do not know the detail of what you are talking about; but, if it is suggested to someone that we cannot justify spending where they are and we can find them a very nice place in a pretty good circumstance, I think that that offer is a fair one to make. If the tenant absolutely does not want to accept that, I think that that is fair enough. But that is a little bit of the negotiation that goes on and I think that at that level it is reasonable.

I can remember a long way back in history-I do not know for certain that Mr Lamont was the minister at the time-when there was a property in Barton up for sale and the minister at the time intervened, saying, "Okay, it is run down and all that, but while these persons are alive, having lived there for most of their life, they will stay."That is pretty much the attitude that has persisted over a long time and is the situation today.

Mr Stanhope: I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Supplementary answers to questions without notice

Bushfires-fuel reduction program

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, I took a question on notice from Ms Tucker yesterday in relation to matters pertaining to Oakey Hill and I would like to provide the following response.

As members know, the disastrous ACT bushfires of January 2003 cost this community the deaths of four people, injuries to many others and a very heavy loss of private and public property. The event was unprecedented in the history of the ACT and, as a scale ranking, it is one of Australia's worst single day natural disasters.

In February 2003, in recognition of the urgent need to quickly understand the lessons of this terrible event, the government commissioned an inquiry into the preparation for, and operational response to, the bushfires. The report of the McLeod inquiry into the ACT bushfires made a number of important recommendations regarding future fire and land management practices for the non-urban areas of the ACT and measures to reduce the levels of bushfire threat in the future.

As I previously announced, Mr Speaker, the government's accepted the recommendations and is taking immediate steps to implement them. These actions are


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