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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 November 2021) . . Page.. 3841 ..


challenges imposed by the COVID outbreak and related restrictions. From the Canberra Liberals, thank you to OLA for managing us so well during this time.

I do look forward, as well, to the further digitisation of Assembly business, particularly the questions database. And I will be watching with interest the implementation of the Laing review of the committee structure.

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Climate Action, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism) (12.00), in reply: I thank Mr Cain for his comments. I echo those remarks on the functioning of the Assembly but, of course, this bill covers the Integrity Commissioner, the Auditor-General and the Electoral Commissioner as well—an important separation of powers between the executive and those offices of the parliament. In having a separate appropriation bill, I think that could achieve that separation in the legislative sense but also in a fiscal sense.

There is a formal process associated with this particular appropriation bill each year. I thank Madam Speaker for representing the Assembly and appearing before the various bodies before the budget cabinet process. Where there is a difference between what is requested and what the government is able to provide in the appropriation bill, there is, of course, a statement of reasons tabled. I commend this bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 12.02 to 2.00 pm.

Questions without notice

Bushfires—preparation

MS LEE: My question is to the minister for emergency services. Minister, fuel reduction through prescribed burns is important for maintaining the safety of Canberrans during bushfire seasons. Yet, as you said in your recent statement on the ACT high-risk weather season preparedness and seasonal outlook, with the wetter than expected season, this has not been able to happen. Minister, what percentage of our annual target did you achieve last winter in the ACT?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank the member for the question. It is an important question as we lead up to bushfire season. Of course, the season has been delayed this year, but we have seen these rains that have occurred, and grass is growing quite rapidly. Of particular concern is the western edge, if that starts to dry out.

We took a number of actions last year for fuel load reduction in both prescribed burning and also strategic slashing and grazing, as we do each year in preparedness


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