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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 4356 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

Eclipse and the Brumbies, but we very rarely talk about the great scientists we have here in the ACT. Recently the Business Review Weekly, I believe it was, put forward a list of people it considered to be the top 10 thinkers in Australia, and it was pleasing to see three Canberrans on that list. I think it is important that we take the time to recognise the contribution of thinkers and innovators to in the community.

The ACT is lucky in that it offers outstanding facilities and opportunities for people to excel in the scientific world, whether that be in agriculture, information technology or, in the case of Mr Cheney, bushfire management.

MR WOOD (Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, and Minister for Arts and Heritage) (5.24): Mr Deputy Speaker, as the minister responsible for ACT Forests, I rise today to acknowledge the announcement by the Institute of Foresters of Australia that they have awarded the NW Jolly Medal to Phil Cheney. I would make one comment about Mr Smyth's motion, which I support, and that is that, while the motion commends Mr Cheney on his contribution to the ACT, I think that could well read to Australia, and more widely. Let us incorporate that as our intention.

The Jolly Medal is the Foresters Institute's highest and most prestigious honour, which is awarded for outstanding service to the profession of forestry in Australia. The award will be presented by Mr Barnes, president of the institute, at their AGM dinner in Canberra tomorrow night.

As all Canberrans now know, fire is an important but sometimes devastating part of our natural environment. Our bushfire firefighters put in an enormous effort each year to protect our communities and limit the damage. One of the tools for safe and effective firefighting is having a sound understanding of the science of fire behaviour. This understanding has largely been developed by the work of bushfire scientists who have been based here in Canberra.

Alan MacArthur developed much of the early knowledge base, including the famous MacArthur fire danger meter. Phil Cheney worked with Alan MacArthur in the early days and then continued on with this important research in the National Bushfire Research Unit. It is fitting that Phil Cheney has been awarded the Jolly Medal by the Institute of Foresters in recognition of his contribution to the development of Australia's bushfire knowledge.

His predecessor, Alan MacArthur, another professional forester, was also awarded the Jolly Medal in 1978. Members may not be aware that the director of ACT Forests, Tony Bartlett, is currently a member of the board of the Institute of Foresters of Australia and he advises me that this award is made only to those who have truly made outstanding contributions to their profession. Fire is a very important part of forest management and over the years professional foresters have made great contributions both to the science of fire behaviour and the practice of forest fire management. Phil Cheney has made a significant contribution to this work throughout his career and is a worthy recipient of the Jolly Medal.

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (5.27), in reply: Mr Deputy Speaker, I thank members for their support of the motion. Mr Wood is right-perhaps I should have

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