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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 November 2007) . . Page.. 3559 ..

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, for it to be a conversation someone would have to answer.

MR SPEAKER: Come to the question, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, on 31 October 2007—that is, three weeks ago and four weeks after the official start of the 2007-08 bushfire season—you announced the implementation of the farm fire wise program to assist rural leaseholders in preparing their properties for the bushfire season. The major part of the funding for this program came from a total of $90,902 in grants provided by the federal government via the Attorney-General’s Department in 2005-06 and 2006-07 through the “working together to manage emergencies” initiatives. Minister, you had had all of this money since 2006-07 and some of it from 2005-06: why wasn’t the farm fire wise program rolled out many months before the beginning of the 2007-08 bushfire season?

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, it was. The farm fire wise program has been going now for a considerable period of time. In fact, I indicated on the launch of the program that already 50 rural leaseholders had been visited or had participated in the program.

Mr Pratt: And you’ve got 100 to go. You’re a third of the way through your constituency.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Pratt!

MR CORBELL: I will draw to Mr Pratt’s attention that, unlike in other organisations, you cannot compel people to go to these seminars. Not all rural lessees have taken advantage of the program, but many have and I thank them for it. To clarify Mrs Dunne’s misunderstanding, the farm fire wise program has actually been ongoing for some time. To the extent that there was a launch, it was a launch after the program had been well and truly underway.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mrs Dunne?

MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. On the basis that the minister has said that—

MR SPEAKER: Come to the question, please.

MRS DUNNE:—that he cannot compel people to people to go to the seminars—

MR SPEAKER: Come to the question, please.

MRS DUNNE:—what is he doing to ensure that there is compliance with bushfire management plans and the like on rural properties if people are not participating in this program?

MR CORBELL: We seek to work cooperatively with all landowners and land managers in this regard. I have to say that I do not want to in any respect give the

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