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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (19 February) . . Page.. 191 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

I should also make the point that when you start to get into detail you find you cannot cover everything. I believe that the more dot points I see in any suggestions the more problematic an inquiry might be, because you know you will not have covered everything.

On a number of occasions today and on other occasions the Chief Minister has spelt out how thorough the coroner's inquiry, the judicial inquiry, will be. At the beginning of my speech I emphasised the thoroughness of that inquiry. The Macleod inquiry is also very broad and covers a range of important issues. The inquiry which was announced today, which I for one have been working on for some time and which looks to the future, also covers a range of issues that are most important and need to be dealt with urgently.

As Mr Stanhope said, areas are prone to weeds and erosion. In fact, as we have all read, one of the reasons that the pines were planted extensively was to counter erosion. So some of the decisions arising out of the non-urban bushfire affected area report might need to be acted upon very quickly.

On quite a number of occasions in the earlier part of this debate I heard the word "rumour"being used. Well, folks, we don't establish major inquiries on the basis of rumour. I think members were trying to express a sentiment, but it was actually a poor choice of word. I think some of the background is quite valid but the word should best not have been used. There are issues to be-

Mr Pratt: We should organise an inquiry based on the fact that a disaster has occurred-that is what we are saying.

MR WOOD: Well, you said "Rumour says. Rumour says. Rumour says", over and over again.

Mr Pratt: No. We said that based on the fact that a disaster has occurred we want an inquiry.

MR WOOD: There are three strong inquiries, plus one that ACT Forests is doing, which is of a different nature, that are about to cover comprehensively all the points under debate-more points than we can imagine in this chamber today, and that is where it should stay.

From what I have heard during the debate today it is fair to say that Mr Smyth's motion will not get up. I do not dispute at all the interest in and the thoughts behind the intention of his motion and the concerns of the people that he and his colleagues have listened to. But we have no doubt that all of this is going to be covered. There are rigorous processes in place: let them take place.

MS DUNDAS (4.46): Everyone in this Assembly is united in their desire to rebuild Canberra after the fires, to provide support and assistance for the people affected and to prevent another tragedy like the January fires occurring again. Everyone in this Assembly got behind the Chief Minister during Canberra's time of crisis, demonstrating the fact that we all have the best interests of the ACT at heart. Disappointingly, now that the immediate crisis is over and we have moved into the review and assessment stage, it appears the government wants to play petty politics.

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