Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (27 May) . . Page.. 681 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (5.24): Mr Speaker, I want to respond to a few - - -
Mr Berry: Are you closing the debate?
MR HUMPHRIES: No. I thought that I was able to speak on this matter without closing the debate, but I will have the Clerk - - -
Mr Berry: You think you can talk all the time. Sit down.
MR HUMPHRIES: Well, it is not that far - - -
MR SPEAKER: Just a moment. I am just getting this checked for you because it is important. I am advised that you will close the debate.
MR HUMPHRIES: Thank you, Mr Speaker.
MR HIRD (5.25): I would like to make a contribution - - -
MR SPEAKER: Never mind; just get on with it.
MR HIRD: Thank you, very stern Speaker. I inform members that last weekend I had the great privilege of opening a new Emergency Service centre on Drake Brockman Drive in Belconnen, known as the Molonglo Emergency Centre. This has brought together two groups of personnel - 27 from the bushfire volunteers and 25 from the Emergency Service - who will now be housed in this emergency centre. Members would also observe the fact that, by combining these two groups, it utilises cross-training facilities. Also, the equipment and other resources can be shared between the two groups. As we have seen over the years, from time to time personnel from the bushfire area assist the Emergency Services personnel during the winter months. So it makes good sense for those personnel to be combined into the one emergency centre.
From time to time these personnel assist New South Wales, particularly the south-east region of New South Wales. They received a commendation from the New South Wales Government for their assistance to the Emergency Service personnel in Thredbo during the disaster there. They are to be commended for the efforts that they have put in on behalf of the citizens in that area. Also, members would be aware of the personnel that assist in bushfire fighting. There have been a number of cross-border fires in recent times and they have assisted the New South Wales bushfire personnel in extinguishing them.