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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 22 September 2005) . . Page.. 3581 ..

15 years of service. Five received their national firefighting clasp, recognising 25 years of service and one received their second clasp, recognising 35 years of service. Twelve land management agency staff also received a national medal.

Since the last fire season, land management agencies have conducted over 600 hectares of prescribed burns, including burns on Black Mountain; on Macarthur hill behinds the suburbs of Macarthur and Fadden; Wanniassa hill behind the suburb of Fadden; Red Hill, behind the suburbs of Deakin and Red Hill; the Pinnacle, behind the suburb of Hawker; Amber Ridge, behind the suburb of Gordon; Jerrabomberra wetlands; the Kowen escarpment adjacent to the Kowen pine plantation; Boboyan pines in Namadgi; and in pine plantations burnt during the 2003 fires, including at Kowen, Ingledene and Uriarra. Many of the burns within pine plantations were conducted with an aerial drip torch specifically obtained for that purpose from Tasmania.

Approximately 100 hectares of physical fuel removal activities have been completed, including on Red Hill behind the suburbs of Deakin and Red Hill, on the Pinnacle behind the suburb of Hawker, on Macarthur hill behind the suburbs of Macarthur and Fadden, Lyneham ridge and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Grazing for fuel management purposes has been undertaken on over 5,000 hectares of nature reserves and agisted land throughout the territory. Access maintenance and upgrades have been conducted on over 150 kilometres of fire trials. Three new helipads have been constructed in the Uriarra area to increase the ability to respond to fires in remote parts of the ACT. Signposting of trail names and water points has commenced in many areas, which will make navigation for firefighters easier.

Fuel management and access management activities will continue in the lead-up to and throughout the fire season. In particular, a number of burns are planned for the next few weeks in a range of locations, including at Kowen and Stromlo. These burns will result in smoke that will be visible from many areas in the ACT. Arrangements are also in place to engage 17 seasonal firefighters to provide increased capacity to respond to fires and to assist with implementing fuel hazard reduction works. Advertisements for these seasonal firefighters appeared in the paper last weekend and they will be employed for a period of 19 weeks, commencing in early January 2005.

The annual memorandum of understanding is currently being finalised. The MOU outlines the agreed arrangement for bushfire preparedness and response between the land management agencies and the Emergency Services Authority. The draft bushfire operations plans are with the Emergency Services Authority and were presented to the Bushfire Council this week.

The draft fuel reduction program of works undertaken along the urban edge includes: four controlled burns of a total of 5.05 hectares, including Fisher parkland, Spence-Kuringa Drive, Mitchell, and Aranda-Caswell Drive. There will be one ecological burn of native grass in Yarralumla as well as bushfire mowing of 1,840 hectares of the urban edge and 214 hectares along rural roads. There will be the physical removal of 37.81 hectares, including areas in Flynn, Latham, Chapman, Fraser, Spence, Hughes, O’Connor, the Fisher parkland, Weston, Mitchell and Fadden. Grazing will commence on 61.19 hectares in the Bonython-Mount Stranger and Curtin areas.

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