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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 9 Hansard (20 September) . . Page.. 2964..


MRS DUNNE (continuing):

Ms MacDonald said to me, "I do not think the government will be represented."I said, "Once this other matter is resolved, if you want a pair it will be provided."At no stage did the opposition change its mind. We have had the same position since the matter arose during the last sittings. The pairs were approved contingently. Ms MacDonald was offered the opportunity to provide another name for me to provide a pair for so that the government could be represented at the riesling challenge yesterday.

Leave of absence

Motion (by Mr Hargreaves ) agreed to:

That leave of absence be given to Mr Corbell (Attorney-General) for this sitting.

Bushfires

MR PRATT (Brindabella) (4.01): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes with concern:

(a) the Government's lack of progress in finalising the Strategic Bushfire Management Plan (SBMP) Version 2;

(b) the lack of:

(i) tangible and definitive goals, targets and directions in the current version of the SBMP; and

(ii) specific bushfire operational plans for risk areas throughout the ACT.

(2) calls on the Government to expedite the completion of SBMP version 2 so that it addresses the deficiencies of the current plan.

My motion today raises a very important issue, an issue that is of prime importance with the coming bushfire season to begin on 1 October, less than two weeks away. The Stanhope government have been extremely lax when it comes to ensuring that everything has been done to ensure that the ACT community is fully protected, to the extent of the government's ability, in the event of another bushfire.

This government promised the community that, in line with McLeod's 2003 findings, they would expedite the introduction of a strategic bushfire management plan, or SBMP for short. They brought in version 1 of this document, the SBMP, in January 2005 and then, given the draft nature of this document, they promised version 2, a final document that would be much more detailed, which was supposed to be released in July 2005. We were then told by the Stanhope government that the final version of the SBMP would not be ready until July this year, 2006, but we still have not seen it and there has been no word as to when the final version will be produced.

In answer to question on notice No 584, Mr Hargreaves said that version 1 of the SBMP was issued "to meet immediate government and public expectations for bushfire


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