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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 4355 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

behaviour and management. That unit was tasked with undertaking research into fire behaviour, to understand how bushfires spread in the natural environment and to develop models to predict the behaviour of fires and important fuel types.

It also did research on fire meteorology to better understand weather phenomena affecting bushfires, using numerical simulation and field validation. As well, the unit carried out research on management systems using fire behaviour knowledge to develop better and safer bushfire management. Phil Cheney currently holds that position. I think that is an outstanding summary of one man's career.

The interesting thing about Phil Cheney is that he is normally self-effacing. I have heard some anecdotal stories about Phil around the trade. If you talk to foresters you find that the man is certainly somewhat of a legend among foresters and firefighters. One conversation that I heard of went something like this, Mr Deputy Speaker. Two fellows talking, one said to the other, "So what do his peers think of him?"The reply was, "He has no peers."This is an individual in a class of his own. When you talk about bushfires in Australia, he is the man.

Another anecdote went something like this. When two firefighters were discussing a problem, they had come up with an option and one firefighter said to the other, "Did you get a second opinion?"He said, "No I didn't."The first guy said, "Why not?"The second said, "Well I asked Phil Cheney. I didn't need one."Everybody that I know of who gets advice from Phil Cheney is normally accepting of that advice.

Mr Deputy Speaker, tomorrow night, Thursday 20 November 2003, Phil Cheney will be at the annual general meeting of the Institute of Foresters of Australia. There will be a dinner after that meeting and that is where Mr Cheney will be presented by IFA president, Ian Barnes, the NW Jolly Medal for his 40 years of service to his chosen profession. This award will recognise a great Australian, a great Canberran and somebody who is worthy of recognition from his community, from his profession and from this Assembly.

I have moved this motion today so that we as part of his community and certainly as members of the Assembly can say to Phil, "Well done. We thank you for what you have done and we acknowledge the amount of work you have done and the contribution you have made to your community."

MS DUNDAS (5.22): Mr Deputy Speaker, I would just like to quickly add my congratulations to Mr Cheney, a very deserving winner of the NW Jolly Medal. As Mr Smyth has outlined in great detail, Mr Cheney is an outstanding scientist in the field of fire management and quite correctly has the label of one of Australia's leading bushfire experts. In the last 10 months he has been regularly called on to provide advice and make submissions to the various inquiries into recent bushfires. As well, over many years he has been called on to give advice on bushfire events.

I think it is important that the Assembly, in recognising Mr Cheney's winning of this award, is recognising the science community. It is very rare that we stand up here and talk about the pride that we have in thinkers and scientists. We often move motions in support of the great sporting achievements of Canberrans, such as the Capitals, the

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