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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 December 2020) . . Page.. 85 ..


exiting the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre. I refer also to working with young people who are on community orders, to ensure that they transition back to life not on orders in a safe and sustainable way. That is a commitment that we have committed to as a government, and that is something that we will continue to work on.

MR PARTON: Minister, will this throughcare program in any way address the very long waiting times for diversionary programs? If not, why not?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Parton for the supplementary, but given that he has provided absolutely no evidence of what diversionary programs or what kind of waiting times he is talking about, I will invite him to put his question on notice in some more detail; then I will be happy to answer it.

Bushfires—preparation

DR PATERSON: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. How is the ACT prepared for the 2020-21 bushfire and storm season?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Dr Paterson for her interest in the safety of all Canberrans this season. Of course, our Emergency Services Agency and Parks and Conservation Service have been engaged in extensive readiness activities in preparation for the season. We have trained an additional 48 ACT Rural Fire Service volunteers and 70 ACT SES volunteers and made staffing investments across ESA and PCS to bolster our capability and preparedness.

We have continued to invest in training, equipment and facilities to ensure that our frontline responders remain supported and are able to keep Canberrans safe. We have been working hard to engage with the Canberra community to increase emergency preparedness, awareness and education, and we have reflected on the lessons and implemented the learnings of last year’s long hot and dry season.

This season will be driven by different climatic conditions, and the likelihood of above average rainfall and high grass growth will increase the risk of flooding and grass fires in the ACT. The ACT government remains prepared for all hazards and will continue to monitor conditions, take action to mitigate risks and provide timely advice and, of course, information to Canberrans.

So while the government is doing all that it can to maintain community safety, I urge Canberrans to download and complete their ESA survival plan from www.esa.gov.au and together we will ensure that the ACT remains well prepared for all hazards during the bushfire and storm season.

DR PATERSON: How is the ACT government supporting our frontline responders so that they can continue to keep Canberrans safe?

MR GENTLEMAN: Again, I thank Dr Paterson for her support for our frontline staff. I want to begin by thanking our frontline responders for their commitment and dedication, particularly during the unprecedented events of 2020. I would also like to


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