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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 5090..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

I have also announced today that the ACT government will continue the negotiations with the Dili district administrator and his office, which have been ongoing for some time now, about formalising a friendship relationship between the city of Canberra and the city of Dili. In discussions that the ACT government has had with the Canberra Friends of Dili, I have always put the position that it was important that a friendship relationship such as this be bound by community will and interest, that it be essentially a people-to-people relationship and that there be significant community support for the development of such a relationship.

That is the attitude that we have adopted with the Canberra Friends of Dili and, indeed, with the Dili district administrator. We have reached the position now where we are building on the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Canberra Institute of Technology and the Dili Institute of Technology on cooperation, provision of educational opportunities and the building of capacity in Timor for the Timorese people as they move to rebuild their nation.

I have indicated today that I am hopeful that, with continuing community support and interest, and with the support of members of this Assembly, we will be in a position to formalise the friendship relationship between our two cities with the Dili district administrator by the middle of next year. I look forward to continuing to work with the ambassador for Timor here in the ACT, with the Canberra Friends of Dili and, indeed, with the Timorese people to continue to develop that relationship.

Bushfires-fuel reduction

MR PRATT: My question is addressed to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, last week in the hearing into the Emergency Services annual reports I asked you and your senior departmental managers whether the Emergency Services Bureau, your senior bushfire prevention authority, had developed a list of the areas across the territory which it deemed to be priority areas for fuel reduction in preparation for this coming season. I was staggered to hear that they had not prepared a strategic priority list-that there was no document which might represent such a strategic list-and that ESB worked alongside land managers to agree to areas which might need attention.

Minister, have we not learnt anything from the January 2003 bushfire disaster? Do you think it is not a good idea for your supreme fire planning authority to place demands on land managers to meet obligatory targets in accordance with an ESB strategic risk analysis? Why have you disregarded McLeod recommendations 2, 3 and 4? Will you be taking up the recommendations of federal minister the Hon. Ian Macdonald, who is strongly recommending to land managers that all states and territories set such bushfire fuel reduction targets? I seek leave to table Mr Macdonald's media release which details that.

Leave granted.

MR WOOD: Mr Speaker, that is what we do. The responsibility is as land managers. There is a very comprehensive fire fuel management plan which gives the responsibility to the land managers. In fact, as I listened to your question, it seemed to me that the first part of your question did not match with the second part. In the first instance you were


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