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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 8 Hansard (20 August) . . Page.. 2902 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

Community service announcements were conducted. I have here a transcript of one announcement WIN television ran. Some were paid for and some were community service announcements. There were 203 community service announcements and here is the description:

Footage of flames. Why are so many bushfires deliberately lit? The loss of homes and property runs into millions. The impact of those affected...Incalculable. An estimated 350,000 Australian animals die in bushfires every year. The devastation...the heartache...the trauma...Are you prepared for the impact?

There were 203 included in the program. It is not true if you go into the public forum and say nothing was done. It is misleading to say you gave us a warning, when in fact you said, "Run a schools program"and you suggested that at a time when the schools were about to close down. If we had taken your resolution to the letter and implemented it, it would have had absolutely no effect in relation to the January fire.

However, don't let that stop your grubby pursuit of some form of political point that you can gain out of this. Don't let that stop you trying to perpetuate the trauma of the bushfire calamity for your own grubby little advantage.

As I said at the start, this bushfire had some positive effects. It did bring the Canberra community together. It did show the rest of the world that Canberra has a soul. It did in fact demonstrate that the government and, for a time I have to say, the Assembly as a whole, could show leadership in this town when it was necessary. All of the people in this place showed leadership at the time, and I have to say it is a great shame that you, for grubby advantage, have fallen away from that position. I really think you should take a good hard look at yourselves.

MR PRATT (11.45): Mr Speaker, I rise to speak in support of Mr Smyth's motion. There are some major concerns the community feels, and about which the community continues to ask, regarding why this government did not pick up on the lessons arising out of December 2001. I will now go to the issue of education.

Mr Speaker, my motion of 13 November 2002, which has been spoken about at some length here today and yesterday, was clearly referring to the operational units of the December 2001 bushfires. That speech was not referring to management and it was not referring to government.

Look at the whole of my speech, Mr Speaker, from 13 November. Never did I say that management or government did all that they could do. I said, "All ACT residents can be satisfied that our emergency services have done all that they could possibly do to prepare for this dangerous season."

Mr Corbell: Hypocrite.

Mr Stefaniak: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Mr Corbell called Mr Pratt a hypocrite. I would ask that he withdraw that.

Mr Corbell: He has two standards, put it that way.

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