Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 641 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
The Coronial process is a judicial process, they've advertised for submissions, anybody who feels-including the firefighters-who feels that they've got something relevant to say to either inquiry is quite free to approach them and to provide information of things relevant.
I want to draw to your attention an email that has come into my possession from the main brigades liaison officer, for the fire service, for the coronial inquiry. I quote:
In preparation for the investigation, it would be appropriate for all persons who had involvement in the Bushfires for the period 8/1/03-19/1/03 to start getting their notes, recollections and any documents in order. Please remember that I will be the ONLY conduit for Brigade staff for communications with the Coronial Investigation Team (CIT) and relevant all information must be forwarded thru me.
I am obviously concerned to see this. I imagine you will be, too. I ask you to respond to that.
MR QUINLAN: I will certainly take the question but I am no longer the minister for emergency services. Mr Wood has that role.
Ms Tucker: Who is the minister? Mr Wood? I do not mind if Mr Wood answers.
MR QUINLAN: Either way. I picked up on the question better than Mr Wood did because it was being directed to me and because I was at the PAC meeting where Mr Keady made those statements. I would agree with what Mr Keady said then. I think he used the words that he "would be very, very concerned"if there had been some prohibition on that. I think this is a very serious matter that warrants a studied response.
I do not know exactly the manner in which that particular email was circulated. Certainly, if you were part of the brigade management, you would want to be asking everybody to let you know what is going in there. However, whether that implies that an individual is inhibited about saying anything else, individually or not, is another question. I think we should take that on notice and get back to you on that, because it is quite a serious matter. Will you table that?
MS TUCKER: Yes. I am happy to table that. I seek leave to table it.
MS TUCKER: I appreciate your looking into this matter. If this is the case, and I am saying that it is the case, will you guarantee, or will Mr Wood guarantee, that you will correspond with all firefighters to let them know that they do have the right to make individual submissions to either of the inquiries?
MR QUINLAN: Can we just take that question on notice, work it through, and then come back and provide a decent answer to it?
MRS BURKE: My question is to the Minister for Education. Minister, did you give