Page 3153 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 24 August 2005

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Mr Pratt: You’re a bloody disgrace, Jon.

MR STANHOPE: such as we have experienced—

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Pratt!

Mr Corbell: Point of order, Mr Speaker. Mr Pratt has consistently and persistently interjected throughout the Chief Minister’s answer and supplementary answer. I have counted over a dozen occasions where Mr Pratt has interjected. I ask you to draw him to order and to warn him for his behaviour.

MR SPEAKER: I have called you to order three times, Mr Pratt. I think it is fair enough to issue a warning that if there are any more interjections, I will name you.

MR STANHOPE: The point I make, and I conclude on the point, is that the ACT Emergency Services Authority, in collaboration with ACT Policing, which was the lead agency in relation to the white powder incidents, which were a scourge through June and July in the ACT, has developed a degree of experience and understanding in dealing with multiple incidents, most of which included and required evacuation, that most other jurisdictions do not have.

We are as experienced, as well trained and as ready, in relation to our capacity to deal with emergency incidents across the board, whether they be natural hazards or terrorist related, as anywhere in Australia. That was confirmed today by Commissioner Dunn and deputy chief police officer Steve Lancaster. There is work that still needs to be done. The SES has just come on board and we look forward to working with the SES to continue to ratchet up our capacity in relation to this most important area.

MR SPEAKER: The minister’s time has expired.

Emergency Services Authority

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, from comments you have made in this place and to the media it would appear that the government and/or some of its agencies has come to regard the ESA headquarters as a terrorist target. Without compromising security, can you tell the Assembly: what has been the nature of communications between the ACT and federal authorities on this issue? What other childcare centres in the ACT are considered terrorist targets because of their location?

MR HARGREAVES: I will answer the second question first. I do not know of any childcare centres that are terrorist targets. Those are your words, Mrs Dunne, not mine. No-one in my hearing has described any childcare centre as a terrorist target. We have said a number of times that there is critical infrastructure which can be regarded as sensitive in that, if it is attacked by terrorists in any form—whether it be through violence or things like white powder—and rendered inoperable, there would be a detrimental effect on the ACT community. This is particularly so in respect of the ESA headquarters, which is our communications centre for the dispatch of ambulances and fire engines. There is a range of infrastructure regarded as critical by the national

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