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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 November 2011) . . Page.. 5395 ..

MS PORTER: Minister, why is this upgrade and relocation planning needed?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for the supplementary. This relocation strategy is needed to make sure that, as the city grows, we are able to maintain appropriate fire and ambulance cover.

Many of our stations have been in their existing locations for extended periods of time—many decades—but much has changed in terms of the urban layout of the city and also much has changed in terms of the changing demand profile for services such as ambulances as our population ages and as we see increased activities in key centres. For that reason, the government has undertaken, through the Emergency Services Agency, detailed studies to determine the best locations to site all of our fire and ambulance stations.

I add for members that it is important to understand that we cannot look at individual proposals or individual fire and ambulance stations in isolation; we must view them as part of a jigsaw of coverage across the city that ensures that each station is in the appropriate location relative to other stations to provide the maximum and most effective coverage for our community.

The primary drivers for site selection are the science of where ambulance and fire stations should be located to ensure the highest levels of community safety by achieving nationally agreed benchmarks for service response and coverage. We have seen some important changes in where the city has developed, particularly in west Belconnen and in the south Tuggeranong area. Into the future, we will see further changes as development occurs in the Molonglo Valley. All of these changes have been anticipated and taken into account in the station relocation assessments.

MR SMYTH: Supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, given your previous failures to deliver capital works on time and on budget—things like GDE, the AMC, the busway and the ESA headquarters—will you guarantee that this first phase of the relocation strategy will be delivered on time and on budget?

MR CORBELL: I have every confidence that the station relocation team, which has a very competent staff of personnel engaged on this project, will be working within the budget and within the time frames the government has set out.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, how will the community be consulted on these changes?

MR CORBELL: It is important that there is detailed community consultation on these changes. Obviously anybody in our community would be concerned to understand the rationale and the reasons why fire and ambulance stations are being

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