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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2488 ..

MRS CARNELL (continuing):

What we have to do is start looking at things that work - things like mini-buses; things like how we integrate our taxi service, our bus service and other things - rather than just belly-aching, as we see the Opposition doing.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (12.19 am): Mr Speaker, I thought I should put on the record, for the sake of those who might not have been around, that Mr Moore, who is now supposedly propping up the Liberal Government, behaved in precisely the same way during the life of the last Assembly and the life of the last Government. He propped up the Labor Government just as assiduously, often to our chagrin, I confess. He has been irritatingly and infuriatingly consistent on these issues. I have to say that I think he is the last person who should be attacked for propping up a government. He propped up that lot for three years.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure - Division 120 - Emergency Services, $17,314,300

MR WHITECROSS (12.20 am): Mr Speaker, I am going to speak relatively briefly on Emergency Services because it is not one of the - - -

Mr Moore: What - for only half an hour or so?

MR WHITECROSS: I cannot speak for half an hour, regrettably, Mr Moore.

Mrs Carnell: You already have.

MR WHITECROSS: No, I have not. Mr Speaker, Emergency Services is a basic community service which all members of the community place great reliance on and look to for reassurance in times of crisis. Once again, under the Labor Party, we found some ways to produce efficiencies and to improve services without running up costs. The use of firefighters to install smoke detectors is an example of the kind of thing we were able to do. That got firefighters out into the community, improved public relations and improved the image of the Fire Service, while at the same time efficiently dealing with the installation of smoke detectors, which, in turn, has the beneficial effect of saving lives in the event of a fire.

Under this Government we have seen an interesting new direction. We have seen stories about closing fire stations. The people of Charnwood, who lost their high school - no thanks to Mr Hird - have had their fire station threatened as well, and I did not hear Mr Hird complaining about it at the time. The Kambah and Chisholm fire stations are also under threat from Emergency Services management, which is being urged to find new ways of reducing the number of fire stations around the place. What did we have when they were caught out in the midst of trying to figure out ways of closing fire stations? We had an assurance from the Minister's office that they knew nothing about it; that it was completely untrue; that they had never heard about it.

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