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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (20 February) . . Page.. 315 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

We are applying significant resources to the McLeod inquiry. We will announce, today or tomorrow, the engagement of an expert-an Australian-acknowledged expert in bushfire control-somebody at a distance from the ACT government; somebody from interstate; somebody with acknowledged expertise in the field, to assist the McLeod inquiry. We will engage, today or tomorrow, somebody with the highest experience, reputation, knowledge and understanding of bushfires and bushfire fighting to assist Mr McLeod, to ensure that the inquiry has the necessary level of expertise-an inquiry which looks into how bushfire preparedness should be. As I say, this government has nothing to hide. We have no desire to hide anything. There is no conspiracy here. This is a genuine attempt and determination to get to the bottom of every aspect of this fire, to implement the results and obtain the outcomes, and to do it quickly.

The next bushfire season is eight months away. We need decisive action and we need results. That is what this government will deliver. We need to protect our community-and that is what this government will do.

MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. I thank the Chief Minister for his very full and detailed account. Chief Minister, could you advise whether Mr McLeod will be able to publish his report outside a sitting period, if necessary, or will he have to publish it on a sitting day to attract privilege?

MR STANHOPE: It is our expectation that the report will be tabled in the Assembly at the first possible opportunity, and thereby attract parliamentary privilege. I must say that, with the toing and froing, the range of bills we have had in relation to the vexed question of privilege and attracting privilege outside the sittings of the Assembly, I cannot remember where we are up to. I think we have rejected all those bodgie, dodgy, deals, haven't we-and have restricted ourselves to publication on sitting days? I am afraid, Mrs Burke, you have got the best of me. I will have to take advice from the Clerk on that question.

Schools-clean-up day

MS DUNDAS: My question is to the Minister for Education. Minister, you might recall that this time last year-I understand that you were not the minister at the time-ACT government schools were not able to participate in Friday Schools Clean Up Day as part of the national Clean Up Australia Day events, due to public liability insurance worries, but some private schools in the ACT did take part. As Friday Schools Clean Up Day is now only eight days away, will ACT government students be taking part in this education program combating littering and protecting the environment?

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Pratt came and spoke to me halfway through your question and I missed the middle of it. The question was about whether students in government schooling can participate in clean-up day. I will have to take it on notice because I do not know. I have not received any information about that.

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