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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (20 November) . . Page.. 4462 ..

(5) It is expected that two plants will be established for every tree removed. Environment ACT will be consulting with the community and National Capital Authority to determine the location of the replacement plants. The plantings will need to be within any guidelines that are established by the Urban Edge study and the outcome of the Coronial Inquiry into the bushfires.

(a) The speed at which newly planted trees reach maturity depends on a wide range of factors, including the species planted, soil, aspect and rainfall. However the absence of the dominant species (such as Blue Gums) will greatly assist the growth of new and existing endemic species.

(b) The community will be invited to participate in planning for and establishing the replacement plants and will derive benefit from the trees from this time. The planting of endemic species will eventually provide a self-sustaining and lasting benefit to the community.

(c) Trees are not effective as a noise barrier; they provide a visual barrier only.

(d) See (b) above.

(e) This depends on seasonal conditions and the growth rates of the vegetation.

(f) Soil erosion is not expected to be a significant issue at Oakey Hill, as there is significant grass cover in the unburnt areas, as well as substantial numbers of trees remaining. The condition of the area will be continually monitored.

(g) Any new trees are not proposed to be established with the purpose of providing a wind break.

(6) The majority of replacement trees will be established in autumn/winter 2004, or at a later time such as spring 2004 if adequate soil moisture levels are not present in autumn.

(7) The Community Update is produced and distributed by the Bushfire Recovery Taskforce and is primarily distributed to people living in areas affected by the bushfires but is also supplied to all ACT Libraries and Canberra Connect Shopfronts. However in addition to the Community Update, residents adjoining areas where work is being undertaken have been advised approximately two weeks prior to the scheduled beginning of fuel reduction work. In addition, community meetings have been held in some areas prior to the commencement of work to inform the community of what work is being done.

(8) Mr John Nicholson visited Canberra on Tuesday 16 September 2003 and made preliminary verbal assessments based on his physical inspections. Mr Nicholson participated in two interviews with media (ABC Radio and WIN TV) on Tuesday 16 September.

Police and Emergency Services-reports

(Question No 936)

Mr Pratt asked the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, upon notice, on

23 September 2003:

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