Page 3152 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 24 August 2005

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MR STANHOPE: A bit too hard?

Mr Pratt: Too late, Jon.

MR STANHOPE: Work has been proceeding at pace and diligently over the past three years in relation to all aspects of our security, our preparations and our preparedness. It was confirmed today by both the Commissioner for Emergency Services and the deputy chief police officer, Commander Lancaster, that in their estimation the ACT is as well placed, as organised and as prepared as any other jurisdiction in Australia and, in some respects, we lead Australia. The primary example that I have used—

Mr Pratt: We lead Australia. Ha, ha!

MR STANHOPE: goes to the extent to which the memorandum of understanding with all media outlets in the ACT is being used as a model by Emergency Management Australia of the sorts of links and cooperation that emergency services authorities around Australia should be developing with their media outlets. It is unique that in the ACT the Emergency Services Authority has a memorandum of understanding with all electronic and, I understand, print media in the ACT in relation to the degree to which all parts of the community cooperate—

Mr Pratt: You’ve got nothing.

MR STANHOPE: at a time of emergency in relation to the activation of emergency evacuation plans and arrangements. Emergency Management Australia is indeed using the ACT experience in relation to that as a model.

Mr Pratt: Yeah, yeah.

MR STANHOPE: The ACT also, unfortunately, because of the number of hoax white powder incidents that we experienced in the ACT, is the only jurisdiction in Australia with recent multiple incident experience. We have learnt—

Mr Pratt: I’ll bet you do not have evacuation plans.

MR STANHOPE: through that real life experience a lot about our capacity and a lot about the requirements and demands of responding—

Mr Pratt: But you have not got an evacuation plan.

MR STANHOPE: to multiple incidents at the same time. We have experience, and it is experience perhaps that one would wish we did not have but we do have, in relation to all aspects of the management, including evacuation.

Mr Pratt: You do not.

MR STANHOPE: The white powder incidents, where they occur, require automatically, in testing and trying circumstances, an evacuation. The point that needs to be made with multiple incidents—

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