Page 2247 - Week 07 - Thursday, 23 June 2005

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Emergency Services Authority

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, can you confirm that the United Firefighters Union has imposed a black ban on the new compressed air foam unit fire trucks that have been recently purchased at great expense to the taxpayer? If the union has imposed a black ban, why have the trucks been banned from use?

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, no, I cannot confirm Mrs Dunne’s rumour, innuendo and misinformation. I have had discussions with the union, as I do quite frequently. I have an open door policy with all the unions and I speak to them quite frequently. I had a discussion only this week with the union about that very subject. I have had discussions with ESA management, which I do every week, and we talked about the issue of the compressed air foam units. The answer to Mrs Dunne’s question, to the best of my knowledge as at yesterday afternoon, is no.

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. Minister, if the UFU will not use the compressed air foam fire truck units to protect the Canberra community, will you give the trucks to the rural fire service, which is prepared to use them?

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, it is a hypothetical question and I do not propose to indulge Mrs Dunne.

Public housing

MRS BURKE: My question is to the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services. Minister, further to my question yesterday concerning the tenancy agreement held by David Eastman with Housing ACT, is it true that at times the property has been used to temporarily house other people in need, including people who lost their homes after the fires in 2003?

MR HARGREAVES: The government is the manager of 11½ thousand properties. I have to confess to you, unfortunately, that I do not know the tenancy agreements that apply to each and every one of those 11½ thousand properties. I will find out for Mrs Burke whether or not those particular premises have been used for other than the storage of Mr Eastman’s goods and get back to her.

MRS BURKE: I thank the minister for finding that out for me. Perhaps the minister would also find out therefore, then, how Housing ACT has been able to maintain his tenancy agreement whilst at the same time reletting the property to other applicants in need?

MR HARGREAVES: I answered part of that innuendo yesterday by saying that the tenancy agreement will be maintained until the process is resolved. Certainly the answer to Mrs Burke’s supplementary part two will be obtained if she reads the answer to her substantive question, or at least gets one of her colleagues to read it to her.

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