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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2491 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Services) (12.30 am): Madam Deputy Speaker, the Government has no plans to close any fire stations and will not do so, but I am certain that those opposite would have been in the position of doing just that had they been returned to government. Mr Berry promised a fifth ambulance crew back in 1991.

Mr Berry: No, I did not.

MR HUMPHRIES: Yes, you did.

Mr Berry: No; I criticised you over it.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Whitecross now condemns the fact that this Government is finally getting around to providing that fifth ambulance crew, even though it is only a half-time one. What hypocrisy!

Mr Whitecross: I have not heard you tell anyone it was half-time.

MR HUMPHRIES: What hypocrisy! I have said it very clearly. You did not ask any questions about it in the Estimates Committee, as I recall. You were not even there, I think. Madam Deputy Speaker, we have provided the fifth crew for the first time, and you people are criticising it. Dear, oh dear, oh dear! This Government is going to stand on its record on Emergency Services. We are providing in this year's budget the beginnings, for the first time, of a fifth ambulance crew in the ACT. We are going to provide 15,000 smoke alarms to be installed in ACT homes this year, which is up from 3,900 last year. Over two years, I think it is, we will be having all Housing Trust houses in the ACT equipped with smoke alarms. And we will be providing the rescue helicopter service, based in the ACT, with support from New South Wales. I think that is a pretty good record.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure - Division 130 - Environment and Land, $41,377,800

MR BERRY (12.31 am): One would live in hope, although faint hope I think, that the Government might be able to deal out some decent treatment to the community in relation to the environment; but already, in this first year of a three-year sentence, we have seen this Minister fail on more than one occasion. He failed, in the first place, with the smoke from New South Wales bushfires coming over into the ACT. Mr Humphries was just unable to grapple with the proper consultative mechanisms to resolve that issue interstate. He will bleat that he fixed it up. He had to fix it up in the end because he was nailed on the issue and embarrassed into a situation where he had to provide some resolution. There was no concern at all about people who might be affected by this sort of thing. Mr Humphries failed on that issue. He will argue that he has fixed it up and has reached an agreement with the relevant New South Wales Minister.

Mr Humphries: We have.

MR BERRY: But not until you were gingered up and caught out.

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