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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 19 August 2010) . . Page.. 3711 ..

(3) Hazard reduction burns are undertaken to reduce fuels and mitigate the risk from uncontained wild fires. They are an important part of ensuring the Government meets its legal obligations for bushfire fuel management under the SBMP.

(4) TAMS has an Environmental Authorisation from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to undertake hazard reduction burns. This authorisation sets parameters around wind and smoke direction and all TAMS burns are undertaken in appropriate weather conditions in accordance with the EPA authorisation to minimise impacts on residential areas.

(5) Burn offs are generally planned and undertaken in conditions which would take the smoke away from the urban area. Monitoring by Health Protection Services (HPS) ACT Health indicates that ACT burns are generally not detected. This is because the smoke management guidelines contained in all burning off authorisations are designed to minimise the smoke impacts in built up areas. The major smoke impacts that have occurred in Canberra in the last few years have come from large scale burns conducted in NSW.

(6) The pollutant of concern for smoke pollution is particulate matter. HPS currently monitor particulate matter less than 10 and 2.5 micrometres equivalent aerodynamic diameter (PM10 and PM2.5) This data is included in the ACT air quality report.

Health—autism spectrum disorder(Question No 981)

Ms Hunter asked the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, upon notice, on 23 June 2010:

(1) Has the ACT Government considered funding training courses for parents of children on the Autism Spectrum to help alleviate some of the demand for therapy services in the ACT.

(2) Is the ACT Government considering increasing numbers of therapists given that anecdotal evidence from parents suggests that there is still a critical shortage.

Ms Burch: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:


Since 2005 Therapy ACT Autism service has offered a family group program to families of children (up to the age of 12 years) who have received a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) within the past eighteen months. To date 214 families have completed the family group program.

This program is comprised of a series of six three hour workshops that aim to equip parents (and grandparents) with a variety of skills and strategies to assist in the management of their children. At the completion of the program, families are offered a goal setting session to focus on specific family needs.

The workshops incorporate many interventions which:

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