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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 10 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 3218..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

contribution from the commonwealth government. Without prejudicing those negotiations, I can only say that I am hopeful of some significant contribution. The NCA's contribution offer so far has been a drop in the bucket and in my view they should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves and jack the offer up. They purport to have the interests of Canberra at heart. We will see whether their chequebook matches their rhetoric; we will see how we go.

Mr Speaker, next year's festival is not too far away and I for one am looking forward to taking part in all that is on offer. I would urge members to get hold of the program when it is released and put the events into their diaries because it promises to be a really top festival this coming year.

Education—teacher transfers

DR FOSKEY: My question is to the education minister and concerns the transfer round for the ACT department of education. Teachers are mandated to transfer every four, six or eight years and the transfer round for teachers usually comes out in the last two weeks of term 3. Can the minister advise the Assembly when the transfer round for staffing next year will be released?

MR BARR: There are some issues that present themselves in relation to the teachers' outstanding EBA that are preventing the transfer round for high schools and colleges. I understand from the department that the primary school round has occurred and that that advice was provided to schools and to teachers at the end of term 3. However, whilst there are still a number of issues outstanding in relation to the EBA, we are not in a position, at this point in time, to complete the process for high schools and colleges.

DR FOSKEY: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Could the minister please explain what difficulties he is aware of that teachers and schools face in dealing with staffing formulae and transfers in time for the start of the 2007 school year?

MR BARR: The advice I have from the department is that, although the tradition has been to have this process concluded by the end of term 3, with a speedy resolution in the next week or two, we should be able to move forward and resolve all of the staffing issues for 2007 in the very near future.

Bushfires—front-line vehicles

MR PRATT: My question is to the minister for emergency services. Minister, despite your answer to Mr Smyth 15 or 20 minutes ago, volunteers are telling the opposition that a significant number of front-line firefighting vehicles, tankers and command four-wheel drive vehicles have been taken off the fireground and restricted to mop-up operations and lower duties. Minister, why is this? Why have some of these vehicles been restricted from crossing the border to operate with New South Wales Rural Fire Service units?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Pratt for the question. We do not actually have a fireground to send vehicles to at the moment. There is no fire. I presume that is the context of Mr Pratt's question. The RFS continues to undertake an assessment as to which vehicles are available for response. They have an ongoing program of ensuring that vehicles are available and are to a standard necessary to enable them to be available for first response.

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