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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 March 2021) . . Page.. 665 ..


Whilst it says “including the Australian Defence Force”, this is not exclusive to that particular agency; it includes other commonwealth and New South Wales agencies. Again, I will be interested in seeing how the minister’s statement can address those factors.

The report also recommends that:

… training and coordination activities conducted with NSW and Commonwealth agencies be reported on an ongoing basis in the Emergency Services Agency annual report.

I look forward to seeing in future annual reports how this might be addressed.

I would also like to draw attention to the JACS estimates hearings, in which the ESA Commissioner highlighted the good work that has gone into building relationships between the ACT government and federal government agencies, particularly the ADF. However, relationships are not the be-all and end-all in this space; relationships can come and go as key personnel are posted in and out. Therefore, there needs to be some more formal structure provided to ensure good ongoing communication between those two entities.

In light of all that, I am looking forward to seeing the government’s response to the JACS report.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bushfires—management

Ministerial statement

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.15): As we come to the end of the bushfire and storm season, I would like to take this opportunity to commend the ACT Emergency Services Agency, ESA, and the Parks and Conservation Service, PCS, for their efforts in preparing for and protecting the ACT community during the 2020-21 bushfire and storm season. Canberra remained well informed and protected during the bushfire and storm season thanks to the dedication of our hardworking volunteers and staff. I would like to pass on my sincere thanks to all involved in assisting the Canberra community to remain safe.

The Australian government Bureau of Meteorology declared a La Nina alert for the 2020-21 summer period. A La Nina alert indicated an increased likelihood of higher than average rainfall. The risks from heatwave and bushfires to the ACT were deemed average in comparison to historical records, while higher rainfall totals increased the likelihood of riverine flooding in Australia’s south-east.

Whilst rainfall events reduced the risk of forest fire ignitions over the summer months, it resulted in sped-up growth in grasslands and increased the available fuel for


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