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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 3 Hansard (10 March) . . Page.. 1002..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

I thank the crossbenchers for their support for the motion. But, just to go to the heart of it, this motion is about Conder 4A and about congratulating the people that were behind the preservation of Conder 4A. I thank members again for their support. I just want to reiterate my thankyous to the people of Conder, particularly those in the adjacent areas around the Templestowe/Eaglemont Retreat area. They are a magic bunch of people and, for once, the little people have won.

Motion agreed to.

Bushfire recovery centre

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (4.50): I move:

That this Assembly notes the considerable contribution made by the Bushfire Recovery Centre to bushfire survivors and the Canberra community and calls on the Government to:

(1) continue the operations of the Bushfire Recovery Centre in its present form until 30 June 2004;

(2) use this extension of time to properly and extensively consult with bushfire survivors and other stakeholders on their future needs; and

(3) report to the Assembly by the last sitting day of May on the results of the consultation and proposed future arrangements for bushfire recovery services.

The reason for this motion is quite simple: a large number of bushfire survivors feel that they have been kept in the dark on plans for the recovery centre. Much has been said here about the wonderful work of the recovery centre. In the Assembly on 11 December last year, the Chief Minister, when tabling the report of the ACT Bushfire Recovery Taskforce, highlighted the key role played by the recovery centre in the aftermath of the bushfire disaster and how it has provided outstanding support to people using a case management approach. The range of services provided by the centre and the extent of coordination between ACT government agencies and community organisations in delivering what was needed has been an outstanding achievement. It is extremely important that we, as a legislature, recognise in a formal way the work done by the people who provided services out of the recovery centre. Much has been said and written elsewhere about the magnificent work of the people working in the recovery centre, so I don't think I need to go into any further detail at this point on that aspect.

Also on 11 December 2003 in the Assembly, we acknowledged the enormous contribution made by a range of counselling services following the January 2003 bushfire disaster. The government presented a report to the Assembly entitled Counselling services following the January 2003 ACT bushfires in response to a recommendation from the Select Committee on Estimates that "the government assess the ongoing need for counselling services as a result of the 2003 bushfires and provide an interim report to the Assembly on the last sitting day in December 2003 of plans for 2004."

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