Page 1592 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 April 2005

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(30) How much money has been spent on (a) initiatives, (b) equipment, (c) systems and (b) programs;

(31) Have plans been made to establish and occupy a new ESAH or substantially upgrade the current headquarters; if so, (a) what are they, (b) how long has this planning been underway, (c) how much progress has been made on these plans and (d) has any money been allocated in the ACT budget;

(32) If money has been allocated, how much money has been (a) allocated and (b) spent thus far;

(33) If any plans have been made to establish and occupy a new headquarters or to substantially upgrade the current headquarters, is there an expected date on which the Emergency Services Authority (ESA) can occupy its new premises or when a substantial upgrade will be completed;

(34) Did a communications operator in the ESCC transmit a message to Rural Fire Service units on Thursday, 13 January 2005 stating that all systems had been restored; if so, at what time did this occur;

(35) Was any section of the ESA contacted on Thursday, 13 January 2005 or Friday, 14 January 2005 by any members of the media and asked any questions in relation to a disruption at the Emergency Services Communications Centre; if so, what response did the Authority provide to the media.

Mr Hargreaves: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The report on the 13 January 2005 power disruption provided to Ms Dunne provided by the Minister for Police and Emergency Services on 23 February 2005 provides the summary of events and actions taken. As highlighted in the report:

The power disruption in question occurred at the ESA Headquarters between 1638hrs and 1708hrs on Thursday 13th January 2005. The disruption to communications services at the ESA Communications Centre extended from approximately 1655hrs to 1715hrs. The cause of the disruption was an overloading of internal power demand on the building main power distribution panel, probably related to a surge from connected air conditioning units in the ESA area and possibly from the collocated kindergarten. The surge caused the circuit breaker to trip. There are no recorded similar outages.

(2) Disruption to communications:

a) Radio communications through the new TRN system were not disrupted. Radio communications through the existing VHF system were disrupted momentarily until hand held radios were activated. There was no disruption to the remainder of the VHF networks, importantly from the bushfire towers to the RFS brigade units.

b) Telephone communications were not disrupted.

(3) Contingency procedures include measures for partial and complete loss of communications services at Curtin. System redundancy planning includes requirements for the evacuation of premises if required. Procedures comprise actions by both operators and technical staff.

(4) The standard functioning of 000 calls was not affected and the alternate manual call taking capability was not activated.

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