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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 26 October 2010) . . Page.. 5034 ..

MR CORBELL: Yes. Significant progress has been made on implementing the bushfire operational plans for the territory, those that are the responsibility of Territory and Municipal Services as the land manager in the territory. I am very pleased to report to the Assembly that the key activity of fuel management for the 2009-10 bushfire operational plan was identified as 99 per cent complete and there has been very positive feedback from both the ESA and the ACT Bushfire Council as to the adequacy of that fuel management progress.

Just to give an indication of the scope of the exercise, during that period there were 4,532 hectares of grazing undertaken, 3,423 hectares of prescribed burning, 465 hectares of physical removal and 6,506 hectares of slashing and mowing. In addition to these works, over 411 kilometres of fire trails across the ACT have received routine maintenance, 55 kilometres were upgraded to a higher standard and 14 kilometres of trails were constructed in the Namadgi national park.

In the 2010-11 plan, there are 49 prescribed burns identified, covering 4½ thousand hectares. In addition, there are 13 further burns that will be passed on to the Rural Fire Service and volunteer brigades, covering an additional 399 hectares. Many of these burns have not yet been able to be commenced because of the very green and wet conditions but it is planned that these will commence once those fuels dry out a little and a burn is able to be conducted this year.

We are undertaking a very significant amount of fuel management and hazard reduction. It is an important responsibility and obligation on the part of the territory to do so. I think, from those figures, you can see it is a very comprehensive task.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Porter, a supplementary?

MS PORTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, how important is it that Canberrans prepare for the bushfire season?

MR CORBELL: It is very important that Canberrans themselves prepare for the bushfire season. We do not want people to be complacent. We know that a well-prepared home and garden in particular can significantly ameliorate the risk associated with fire approaching near a householder’s property. That is why we are sending out this campaign over the next week, reminding Canberrans that now is a great time to do it. Things are still wet and green so do not leave it till the last minute. Do not leave it until you see flame or smell smoke. That is far too late. Be well prepared. Reduce the risk in your garden. Reduce the risk around your home and talk to your family about your bushfire survival plan so you are clear about what you will do in the event of a fire. That way you are in the best position to protect yourself and your family, and indeed your property.

MR SMYTH: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

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