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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2644..


Mr Corbell: How much did he spend on emergency services? Bugger all.

MR WOOD: Thanks for your help, Mr Corbell. The debate we had on the Emergency Services Bill indicated that there is broad support here for the emergency services. We have been putting hard money into it.

Mr Smyth: We did, too.

MR WOOD: You didn't put in anything of the order that we have done here. A 26 per cent increase is a truly remarkable increase. That will accommodate, for example, some 36 new fire fighters. They will also be specifically trained in hazardous chemicals and other sorts of issues that are very important in this day and age as we face terrorist issues.

We have now ordered four new fire engines. I think that is a remarkable advance; it is a $1.38 million contract. I think the specific nature of these is very important. They increase the efficiency of water by expanding it with compressed air. It has the capacity to increase 8,000 litres of water to 40,000 litres of foam. You can see what technology is doing.

A little while ago-and that was before this budget-I launched a new rural fire fighting appliance that has got the capacity to spray. If crews should ever get caught in dire circumstances, it can generate a very heavy spray for the protection of those people. These are just some of the measures we're taking to upgrade to a very great degree the ability of our Emergency Services Authority.

Child protection

MRS CROSS: My question is to Minister Gallagher. Last year, I was successful in the Assembly with a motion asking the government to trial a system similar to the out of harm's way agreement that was being trialled by the Warringah Council in New South Wales that increased the safety of young people through strengthening the relationship between those people and their parents or guardians. Could you advise the Assembly as to where the government is at in looking at or conducting such a trial or something similar in the ACT?

MS GALLAGHER: From memory, the motion was amended on the day to include a referral to the Minister's Youth Council and Mrs Cross attended a meeting of the Minister's Youth Council to brief it on the out of harm's way proposal. Having said that, I will check with the Minister's Youth Council as to where it is at and report back to Mrs Cross.

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

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