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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 28 November 2018) . . Page.. 4986 ..


solving. We cannot continue to severely underperform in this area of the bushfire operations plan. We need to have enough resources available between our different agencies so that we prevent bad weather conditions from completely ruining our burning schedule.

If there were to be more burning carried out on a given day then we might need to improve on the communication with the community about what is happening. The community could be made better aware of where back-burning will be carried out, through multiple different methods, whether it is signage, radio, the RFS website or social media. That would be a good start.

I look forward to hearing from the minister about this matter. Well, I did until I saw his amendment, but we will wait to hear whether there is more in the speech. I think it must be possible to do better. I am hoping to work in a constructive way here, to work at how we can get through the vast bulk of burning in line with the professional advice that goes each year into our plans for preparation for the bushfire season.

I was about to talk about tripartisan work, but I will go briefly to the amendment. The thing that concerns me about the minister’s amendment is not that any of it is incorrect but that it totally disregards the heart of the question which I am asking, which is: is there any way of increasing the number of burns that we do or the hectares of burns that we complete on a good weather day, during those few good weather days that we get each year? At this stage I am not in support of the amendment because essentially it completely takes out the crux of the message. But I do hope there is something we can do together in this space. I think the community expect us to work together in this place so that they are as safe as they possibly can be.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Advanced Technology and Space Industries) (4.03): As discussed, I will move an amendment to Mrs Jones’s motion. I move:

omit all text after “That this Assembly”, substitute:

“(1) notes:

(a) hazard reduction burns in the ACT are one of many important activities undertaken in the preparation of a bushfire season;

(b) the ACT Government, including the ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA), is better prepared for a bushfire emergency than ever before;

(c) the ACT’s emergency plans and policies, warnings systems, and governance arrangements, lead emergency management practice on a national level;

(d) the ACT community can be confident that they continue to live in one of the safest cities in the world; and

(e) while the ACT Government, the ESA and government directorates are well prepared for the risks that the ACT may face, preparation for bushfires, storms and heatwaves is everyone’s responsibility; and


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