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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (5 June) . . Page.. 1937 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

included a photo of the facility at Mugga Lane. It appears to me to be highly unlikely that this photo could have been obtained without the photographer breaching the perimeter of that facility. I think that raises some fairly serious concerns in itself.

Access to this facility is, for obvious reasons, very strictly controlled and the separation distances used at the facility are in excess of the requirements of the Dangerous Goods Regulations 1978. There has recently been one illegal entry to the facility and this has led to an upgrade of security at the site.

The Fireworks Association has also claimed that WorkCover undertakes tests of fireworks at Mugga Lane illegally. I am advised by WorkCover that it does not test fireworks at or near this facility, although testing has been done by others at the facility. However, this occurred outside the required separation distances, again, completely in accordance with the requirements of the Dangerous Goods Act.

The scaremongering that the Fireworks Association has attempted among residents of Red Hill, Narrabundah, Isaacs and O'Malley, under the guise of a community service announcement-to use the association's words-is absolutely unacceptable. It is completely misinformed and it is beyond the pale for residents to be alarmed in this manner. I can assure the Assembly and-

Mr Cornwell: A bit like the Symonston prison.

MR CORBELL: I am glad the opposition thinks this is a matter for political point-scoring, because it should not be. We are talking about a facility that stores high-powered explosives. They are stored in a safe manner. They are stored in accordance with the act. They are stored in a way that is completely in accordance with the law. For the Fireworks Association to make these claims is deliberately misleading, and clearly designed to scare residents for no good reason.

MS GALLAGHER: Can the minister advise the Assembly on the other outrageous claims recently made by the Fireworks Association?

Mrs Cross: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I did not say anything about this before but there is an imputation in the way that question is put. The use of the term "outrageous" is an imputation and innuendo. I ask that it be rephrased or ruled out of order?

MR SPEAKER: Resume your seat. I think the question is okay.

MR CORBELL: The Fireworks Association has recently claimed that fireworks have been stolen from the WorkCover depot at Mugga Lane. WorkCover has advised me that, as a result of its investigations in conjunction with the police, it has found that no fireworks were stolen during the break-in at the facility at Mugga Lane. Some of the goods were disturbed, but no fireworks were stolen.

The Fireworks Association has also claimed that ACT WorkCover has not been accountable in its storage of fireworks. The Mugga Lane facility is licensed under the Dangerous Goods Act for the quantity of goods that is held there, and WorkCover is complying with the relevant legislation.

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