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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 4238 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

best use of the foreshore land between the skate park and the water police station, and that study report has not yet been released?

MR CORBELL: I am not aware of the release of that site. I am not aware of the details of the site that Ms Dundas refers to. Mr Speaker, I will take the question on notice and provide an answer to Ms Dundas by the conclusion of question time.

MS DUNDAS: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Could you also please provide an explanation of why the site on the north side of Beissel Street is up for auction tomorrow when it is my understanding and the understanding of the community council that there was an agreement that the south side of Beissel Street would mark the limits of retail development along the lake shore.

MR CORBELL: Again, I will take the matter on notice.

Police and emergency services

MR HARGREAVES: My question is for the Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Corrections. Yesterday the federal government announced the creation of the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre. Can the minister inform the Assembly of the ACT's involvement in the BCRC.

MR QUINLAN: Thank you, Mr Hargreaves. The Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre was proposed by the Australasian Fire Authorities Council-I might add it had been proposed since about January by federal Labor. It will bring together researchers from universities, the CSIRO and other government laboratories as well as private industry and public sector agencies. The intention is to enter into long-term collaborative arrangements which support research and development and education activities that will achieve real outcomes of national, economic and social significance.

Mr Speaker, the ACT will have extensive involvement in the centre and it will continue the tradition of the Canberra community being at the forefront of Australia's bushfire research effort. The ACT Department of Justice and Community Safety, the Emergency Services Bureau, the Department of Urban Services and Environment ACT will work with other local stakeholders, including the CSIRO bushfire management unit, the forestry program of the School of Resources, Environment and Society at the Australian National University, and the mathematics department, of all things, at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

Under the BCRC, the ACT will be responsible for coordinating research into bushfire arson. The research will focus on quantifying the extent to which arson is the cause of bushfires throughout Australia, profiling offenders, evaluating prevention measures, and evaluating treatment programs for offenders. As part of the program aimed at combating arson, the ACT government introduced new bushfire arson legislation earlier in 2002.

The research program of the BCRC focuses on five interrelated areas of research and related activities: safe prevention, preparation and suppression; management of fire in the landscape; community self-sufficiency for fire safety; protection of people and property; and education, training and communication. Canberra will be a major centre of research effort, with the ACT government in conjunction with the stakeholders

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