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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 814 ..

The McLeod Inquiry is examining the preparation for and the operational response to the fires by the ACT Emergency Services Bureau and other departments and agencies, and is identifying the lessons to be learnt, prior to the next fire season. I expect that Mr McLeod will address the coordination and cooperative arrangements with interstate agencies including the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) as part of that process.

My colleague, Mr Bill Wood MLA, in his capacity as Minister for Police and Emergency Services, has recently written to the NSW Minister for Emergency Services to draw attention to the Inquiry and to seek the participation and cooperation of the NSW RFS.

Community Information Technology Access Plan

(Question No 473)

Mr Smyth asked the Chief Minister, upon notice, on 12 March 2003:

In relation to the Community Information Technology Access Plan:

(1) From wherein the budget did $1.4m come to fund the Community IT Access Plan;

(2) Does the Government have a timetable to achieve its goal of closing the digital divide in the ACT by 2006, if so, please detail, if not, why not;

(3) Can the Minister break down the $1.4m into the components it will be spent on, if so, please provide details, if not, why not.

Mr Stanhope: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) Digital Divide funding was initially allocated in the 2001-02 budget, 'Budget Paper No.4, p.31 Redressing the Digital Divide'. This level of funding was revised in the 2002-03 budget as part of the 'Changes to Appropriation - Departmental, Government Payment for Outputs'.

Current budget allocations are $724,000 in 2002-03; $505,000 in 2003-04; and $201,000 in 2004-05.

(2) The Government's timetable to achieve its goal of closing the digital divide is incorporated in the fourteen initiatives of the Community IT Access Plan. The Government aims to close the digital divide over three years from 2002-03 to 2004-05 through the implementation of these initiatives and through ongoing consultation with the Community IT Access Group.

(3) The allocation of digital divide funds to each of the fourteen initiatives is also detailed in the Community IT Access Plan.

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