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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (19 February) . . Page.. 314 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

  • budget pressures for this financial year, identified under the previous government and acknowledged and released on 2 October 2001.

Mr Speaker, the bill will provide for urgent pressures within the Department of Urban Services. These include:

  • $540,000 for ACTION to assist in the management of long-term staff absences;

  • the commencement of the ACTION bus door safety project to protect passengers and to remedy a dangerous situation, especially for children alighting from buses, a situation I think that should have been addressed previously;

  • assistance to the community sector, particularly the housing and environment sectors, in meeting increases in the costs associated with recent SACS award decisions by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, and I think some of the agencies were overlooked in the last allocation;

  • $850,000 to assist the additional cost for the current financial year to ensure that recycling services are maintained to approximately 130,000 households that currently exist throughout the ACT. This will be an extension of the existing contract.

Mr Speaker, $300,000 will be provided to ACT Forests. ACT Forests has sought to bring forward their budget from 2002-03 due to the change in the numbers who took redundancy and the timing of these redundancies.

As a consequence of the bushfire emergency experience in the Canberra region in December, funding of $1.958 million is required to address this unforeseen emergency. This includes:

  • fire suppression costs, including additional labour and associated costs of the Department of Urban Services and the Emergency Services Bureau;

  • the cost of remediating damage to areas such as tree and fence replacement; and

  • future prevention costs, such as priority hazard reduction works to mitigate the risk of additional damage being caused to public and private property.

The Appropriation Bill provides for three other items. These are:

  • the engagement of counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions in four significant cases that will cost above the funding provided in the 2001-02 budget for the DPP, and I think they have received reasonable publicity already;

  • provision for additional staffing costs associated with providing safe and secure management of overcrowding at the Belconnen Remand Centre and overnight overflow accommodation for remandees to the Magistrates Court cells; and

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