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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 5 Hansard (10 May) . . Page.. 1473..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

that it provides a very high level of visibility for the ambulance service and also provides clear recognition of the important role that it plays in providing services on an emergency basis to our community.

MS PORTER: I have a supplementary question. Can the minister inform the Assembly of the benefits that will result from this investment?

MR CORBELL: The most important is the fact that we now have an ambulance fleet which is very modern, one which has replaced a range of much older vehicles which have now been decommissioned. The old GMC vehicles were well past the usual level of operating life, and the government was very keen to ensure that the ambulance fleet remained in a modern and efficient configuration to meet the needs of our community. Most importantly, all of our ambulances are intensive care ambulances. They provide the full range of equipment and resources that are needed to respond to a life-threatening emergency; in particular, all the equipment and resources needed to deal with emergencies such as heart attacks, strokes and other conditions that are of immediate threat to a person's life.

The procurement process undertaken was considerable. I am very pleased that it has now been completed smoothly. There was a period when a number of ambulances were on loan from another jurisdiction to cover gaps in the fleet whilst the procurement process was completed. I am pleased to advise members that that loan process has now ceased, that it is no longer necessary, and that we have the full range of replacement vehicles available and servicing the ACT community right now.

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

Supplementary answer to question without notice

Education—preschools

MR BARR: Yesterday in question time I took on notice part of a question from Mr Seselja on criteria being used to determine whether a preschool would close either permanently or temporarily. I advise the Assembly that in fact preschools are recognised as schools under the Education Act and that this means that the same requirements applying to the planned closures or amalgamations of government schools also apply to government preschools. Before closing or amalgamating a government preschool, I would ensure that schools communities affected by the closure or amalgamation have been adequately consulted for a period of at least six months.

Personal explanation

MR SMYTH (Brindabella—Leader of the Opposition): Mr Speaker, I wish to make a statement under standing order 46.

MR SPEAKER: The member may proceed.

MR SMYTH: The Chief Minister has claimed that I invented the figure of a potential $390 million deficit. The first time that number appeared in public, to the best of my knowledge, was in the Canberra Times on Wednesday, 3 May. I quote from it. The Canberra Times journalist says:


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