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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 27 October 2011) . . Page.. 5159 ..

Under the national aerial firefighting centre arrangements, the ACT will have two helicopters on contract during part of the 2012 bushfire season—one medium helicopter and one heavy helicopter. These will be based at the new helibase at Hume. The ACT Rural Fire Service has a wide variety of vehicles available for its operational response, including a new bulk water carrier, 25 heavy tankers, nine medium tankers, 17 light units, 14 command vehicles and seven quick-fill trailers.

Of course, we have over 400 trained and excellent volunteer firefighters, in addition to the 180 trained firefighters from the Parks brigade who also operate under the control of the RFS chief officer. A recruitment program has attracted 38 new members to the Parks brigade. They have been trained throughout May and September this year and have been qualified before the start of this year’s bushfire season.

In addition, the ACT RFS has attended the New South Wales Rural Fire Service pre-season briefing to ensure that we continue to have a high level of integration for fire management at a local, regional and state level and across respective jurisdictional borders.

In addition, significant work has occurred in relation to hazard reduction. Activities this year include more than 22,000 hectares of fuel management activities, including over 7,300 hectares of grazing, 8,000 hectares of slashing, 5,000 hectares of prescribed burns, 384 hectares of physical fuel removal and 797 hectares of chemical control. That is 1,000 hectares more than the previous financial year.

In addition, it is anticipated that there will be 523 kilometres of access management activities, 15 separate infrastructure development activities, 61 separate fire-specific training activities, representing a commitment of more than 1,800 staff days.

MR SMYTH: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, how many volunteers did the AIMS report say the ACT would need to adequately cover a fire season?

MR CORBELL: I do not recall the number. I will have to seek advice on that matter.

DR BOURKE: Supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Dr Bourke

DR BOURKE: Minister, what role can individual home and land owners do to help make sure they are prepared to deal with the threat of bushfires?

MR CORBELL: I thank Dr Bourke for the question. Community preparedness is a vital part of our bushfire readiness in this year’s bushfire period. Encouraging Canberrans to prepare, act and survive, to put together their bushfire survival plans, has been a consistent message from our emergency services and from the government

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