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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 11 Hansard (16 November) . . Page.. 3638..

(4) What is the expected reduction of Emergency Services Bureau operational staff from the start of 2006 to the end of 2006;

(5) What effect will these cuts have upon the Park's Brigade's capacity to conduct operational planning and to fight fires.

Mr Hargreaves

: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) Each year the Department of Territory and Municipal Services (TAMS) enters into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Emergency Services Authority (ESA). This MOU clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of each party and identifies the number of departmental staff that will be made available for fire suppression activities throughout the summer. For the 2006 fire season this consists of 105 staff to crew six tankers, eight light units, 5 officer positions, 2 incident management team (IMT) positions and agency representatives, on an ongoing 2.5 shift basis.

(2) The budget cuts have had minimal impact on the fire budget. Savings in expenditure have been found in other areas and the fire budget ($6.49 million) is the largest ever allocated by any government in the ACT. We will continue to budget for the number of fire fighters that are required under the MOU - which is currently 105.

(3) As previously stated, the budget cuts do not affect the Parks Brigade's capacity to conduct operational planning and to fight fires;

(4) The Attorney General is the Minister responsible for the Emergency Services Authority and this question should be directed to him. However, I am advised that the ESA has not had any expected reduction in operational staff for 2006. Any reductions have been due to natural attrition and delays in recruitment processes.

(5) It is unclear whether this question relates to the ESA or the Department of Territory and Municipal Services. Even though the fire budget is the largest ever, any reduction in overall numbers of operational staff, for any reason, may have a short-term effect while duties and responsibilities are transferred to other staff.

ACTION bus service-bike racks

(Question No 1318)

Dr Foskey asked the Minister for the Territory and Municipal Services, upon notice, on 17 October 2006:

(1) Why is the rule in place that, even when the bike rack facilities are available, passengers are not allowed to load bikes on any buses other than the intertown (300) services;

(2) Is there any plan to change this rule;

(3) Is there a plan to make the 'bike n ride' service available on all intertown (300) buses; if so, when will this be implemented;

(4) Are there any plans to review the rule that bikes with attached children's seats, panniers or baskets cannot be loaded onto bus bike racks.

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