Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 4697 ..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
all of these services to do their job, to operate, to rescue the injured, to put out homes that are on fire, to cope with storm damage, to face the bushfires. It is the operational model.
There you have your options. You can put in place an operational model that delivers on the ground or you can put in place the bureaucratic model which, because of bureaucracy, is taking far longer to put in place than necessary, which does not necessarily deliver and which is not proven. That is your problem. You can provide support through the departments, as Mr Pratt's bill does, but his bill says that we should have boards of individuals, men and women, with years of experience, knowledge and specialisations to assist the chief fire control officer, the chief emergency services officer or the fire commissioner to deliver when people require it.
That is the basis of this bill. This is the operational bill. This is the bill that delivers. This is the bill that will get people on the ground. This is the bill that will make sure preventive work that needs to be done is done. This is the bill that will allow volunteers to feel that they are actually being listened to and encouraged to do their job. This is not the bureaucratic model. This is not the slow model. This is not the model that we are going to talk to death in the hope that at some time before the next fire season we will actually have something in place.
Mr Corbell said that the issue is about having one corporate banner. We had a corporate banner on 18 January called the ESB and, for all the good work and for all the efforts of everyone, it did not necessarily deliver. What we are saying is based on what the community is telling us-the community of firefighters, emergency services volunteers, ambulance drivers, bureaucrats, rural lessees and volunteer bushfire fighters. They have spoken, they have had their say, and they have been ignored by the government. Yes, there is another process going on, which is fine, but it seems like we are sitting on a bus and being taken on an interminable trip by the government.
You do not have to do that. You can actually act and do these things quickly. It should be done properly. We are not saying that it should not and we have not said that. Mr Pratt has taken the time to go out and consult, deliver his bill, go back and consult and bring it to this place. Without the resources of government, he has managed to do all that and he has come up with the model that the volunteers in particular like. I understand that the UFU like it and want to see that reiterated. I understand that the ambulance drivers like it. The members of public that we have spoken to also like it, because it delivers.
Mr Deputy Speaker, this is the operational model. It is the model that can deliver. We have heard that there is to be another round table. We have heard that the government model will be coming after they do some more consultation, but we have no idea what it will look like. I can assure you that the volunteers, when they hear today that it will be still based on the McLeod model, will be afraid that it will not deliver to them the operational freedom that they need to do their job properly.
The 700-odd volunteers that we have in the bushfire brigades and the emergency services brigades give a lot of time and effort; they train and they are there when you need them. Mr Corbell is one, it should be acknowledged. He has done his modules, he has done his courses, he has done his training, and he has seen the February dragon. But we need to listen to that experience. I have been in a brigade for 10 years and I do not feel qualified to talk a lot on this subject, I try to be a bit circumspect with my words, but there are men