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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 5256 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

The fourth aspect of the recovery was the establishment of the ACT recovery centre at Lyons. The centre offers a one-stop-shop for bushfire affected residents, where they can access a wide range of information, advice, services and support. The recovery centre proved to be a key part of the bushfire recovery and provided outstanding people support using a case-management approach. The recovery centre is widely acknowledged as representing world best practice. Governments and organisations across Australia and overseas are keen to learn how the centre has achieved its outstanding success.

After six months of operation, the taskforce advised the government that it was appropriate to consider new recovery arrangements. In particular, they recognised the need for the gradual integration of recovery activities into the normal business of government. This does not mean that the recovery process is less of a priority but that key executives throughout the ACT Public Service have become even more directly involved in driving the process.

The taskforce and the newly formed bushfire recovery executive worked together on the work plan for the next phase of the recovery, and that work plan also forms part of the taskforce report. Dedicated recovery structures, including the community and expert reference group, will remain in place until the end of this bushfire season. Careful planning is under way to ensure that services are available after that time for those who need them.

In summary, Mr Speaker, this is an excellent report. Not only does it provide an accounting for the activities that the taskforce undertook on our behalf, it also provides a very valuable resource for anyone who faces a similar disaster in the future. It also marks an important point in the journey of our city and community towards a stronger, more resilient community-a community that has responded to the challenges of recovery and is at the same time preparing to take hold of new opportunities into the future.

I would like to reiterate my thanks, and those of the whole ACT community, to the taskforce, the community and expert reference group and, indeed, to all of the people who have contributed to the recovery effort. In that I would also acknowledge the support and interest of the members of this Assembly. I commend the report to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Bushfires-counselling services


MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Community Affairs) (3.30): Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I present the following paper:

Counselling services following the January 2003 ACT Bushfires, dated December 2003.

I move:

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