Page 3040 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 23 August 2005
are working and providing practical results for the people of Canberra and, directly, to the people of Dili.
MR PRATT: My question is to the Chief Minister. It relates to the government’s terrorist threat evacuation plan. Chief Minister, last Thursday you stated, “I have advice from Commissioner Dunn that we are the only jurisdiction that has in place a disaster response plan or an evacuation plan.” Further, you said, “The detail of the evacuation or disaster response plans that we have is, in fact, of an order that is not in place anywhere else in Australia.”
Yesterday the chief officer of the state emergency service sent an email to his SES units very clearly indicating that the government has not even begun to draw up broad community evacuation plans. Chief Minister, why did you say last week that there are completed evacuation plans when their development has not even commenced?
MR STANHOPE: Well, it is actually a question of terminology. The advice that I have from the commissioner—
Opposition members interjecting—
MR STANHOPE: We have not called them evacuation plans. I made that clear. We have broad emergency management arrangements, or broad emergency management plans. The point I made, and I repeat the advice I received from the commissioner, is that we are at the point of having virtually completed—and I am advised that we are the only jurisdiction in Australia that has done so—an across the board disaster emergency management plan or arrangement. That is, we have taken a broad, holistic approach to disaster management, accepting that at one level the response to a disaster, whether it is a natural disaster or whether it is a man-made disaster such as a terrorist attack, requires the same capacity, the same training and the same degree of management.
Mr Smyth: That’s not what you said last week.
MR STANHOPE: Yes, it is.
Mr Smyth: No, it’s not.
MR SPEAKER: Order!
MR STANHOPE: Well, you call them what you want. You can call them evacuation plans. You can call them disaster management plans. That is what we have. We have a coordinated, holistic, broad approach to the management of disasters within the ACT. My advice is that we are further advanced in the development of disaster management plans than any other jurisdiction in Australia.
As an example, and this is a major achievement of Commissioner Dunn, this is the only jurisdiction in Australia where there is a memorandum of understanding completed and signed up to by all media outlets within the jurisdiction. Nobody else has attempted this, pursued it or achieved it. It is a significant aspect—