Page 1130 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 16 March 2005
his own answers to questions on notice, which he then had the temerity to read out today, which actually say that the parks brigade staff and ACT Forests staff cannot respond.
ACT Environment staff told us in estimates hearings and in annual reports hearings that the Emergency Services Authority was about to change the standard operating procedure to redefine what “respond” meant so that volunteers and members of the parks brigade and members of the ACT Forest brigade could not respond in the normal operating sense of the word any more. So we have the crazy situation that an urban fire brigade can be called out to a bushfire and respond with lights and sirens and break the traffic rules, where it is appropriate to do so, yet a rural fire brigade can be called out to the same fire and not be allowed to do so.
They have been allowed to do so for years and years. Instead of making a goose of himself here, Mr Hargreaves should have taken advice from Mr Corbell, who I understand was present at the rivers brigade when the Deputy Commissioner of the Rural Fire Service gave the verbal instruction to the rivers brigade that they may not respond with lights and sirens and break appropriate traffic rules. Mr Hargreaves knows nothing about what is going on in the Emergency Services Authority. He really needs to spend some time talking to some volunteers. Perhaps he could start with Mr Corbell, who seems to know more about what is going on than he does.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
The Assembly adjourned at 6.31 pm.