Page 3356 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 20 September 2005

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relation to that catchment, namely the quality of our water, is the pre-eminent consideration, the dominant consideration. Those are the facts.

That, of course, flows directly into the other decisions that were taken in relation to securing our future water supply. Now, more than even two years ago, with the reticulation arrangement that we put in place—namely, our determination to draw from the Cotter and the Murrumbidgee through the reticulation plan that will be completed sometime within the next six weeks—we propose to depend for our future supply on the Cotter catchment to an extent or degree which we never previously imagined.

Disaster planning

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, in the Canberra Times on 25 August 2005 you were quoted as saying:

The ACT Emergencies Act 2004, the ACT emergency plan and the evacuation strategy all combine to provide a high level of preparedness to effectively manage evacuations in the ACT.

During the bomb scare opposite the Legislative Assembly building on 7 September 2005, members of the public and staff inside the building were not formally warned by police or the ESA about the suspected bomb. How can people, particularly building occupants and members of the public, be expected to respond appropriately during such emergencies if they are not properly warned in the first place?

MR STANHOPE: I thank the shadow Attorney. I guess to respond appropriately to the question, it comes down to a discussion or an analysis of the claim around what is a proper warning.

Mr Smyth: There was no warning!

MR STANHOPE: It may be that no warning is appropriate in certain circumstances. As I have previously explained, the evacuation process, or procedures, which underpin the ACT government’s or the Emergency Services Authority’s response to evacuation and evacuation plans depends very much, of course, on an individual and personalised assessment of each incident. It is a process that is determined by the incident assessment undertaken by one of the professionals within ACT Policing and the Emergency Services Authority in relation to the particular matter. That is, and underscores, the entire philosophy and process that will be employed in relation to incident management and evacuation as part of an incident within the ACT.

Mr Smyth: But nobody checked the building!

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Smyth!

MR STANHOPE: It is a system which relies on the expertise and professionalism of the person charged with responsibility for a particular incident to make judgments around how that particular incident will be managed—whether or not, on the basis of that particular assessment, that officer takes the decision that, in the circumstances, and all

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