Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 8 Hansard (19 August) . . Page.. 2782 ..
Mr Smyth (continuing):
place that reports of this kind are circulated at the beginning of the speech, so that members who may wish to respond can read the document and then do so. It is impossible for anybody to comment today on this matter without actually having seen the report.
MR SPEAKER: I have certainly received a copy, but I agree with you, it has not been circulated today. It is open to you, of course, to adjourn proceedings if you are dissatisfied with them as they stand.
Mr Smyth: It is okay, Mr Speaker. It has been fixed; a report has arrived.
MR SPEAKER: I understand something is being circulated as we speak.
MR STANHOPE: It is the response. The report was distributed earlier, Mr Speaker.
A range of fire mitigation activities will be undertaken prior to and during the 2003-04 bushfire season, with an additional $1.684 million being sought for that purpose in the supplementary appropriation, adding to the half million dollars provided in the 2003-04 budget. In particular, an extensive program of accelerated fire reduction work is already under way, including physical fuel removal from certain suburbs and an extensive mowing program. Further extensive fuel reduction and access trail upgrades will be undertaken.
The government will also be reviewing and revising a number of relevant policies and practices to address issues raised in the McLeod report. Work relating to the identification and delineation of the bushfire abatement zone has already commenced, and the recent release of the non-urban lands study Shaping our territory: options and opportunities for non-urban ACT together with the urban edge review, will enable specific details about this zone to be considered by the government and incorporated into the draft spatial plan.
Both in response to the McLeod report and through separate initiatives, the government has set a number of programs in place to improve emergency response capabilities. Initiatives to be completed before the start of the bushfire season include the ACT's participation in the national aerial firefighting strategy; the acquisition of equipment, including volunteer brigade command vehicles, fire fighting tools and heavier turnout coats; the implementation of additional training and incident management systems and the community fire units pilot program.
The cost of these measures totals $1.97 million in 2003-04. Initiatives targeted for completion during the bushfire season, at a total cost of some $3.7 million, include engaging additional personnel, including those for command, control and bushfire risk assessment, and additional seasonal staff to increase our ability to respond more quickly and extensively to fire outbreaks, particularly in remote areas; obtaining additional equipment, such as light dozers; and obtaining improved information systems and additional access and familiarisation training for senior fire fighters.
Some major additional equipment items, including four all-terrain tankers, a replacement fire tanker to protect the Googong foreshores, and a forward casualty