Page 4918 - Week 15 - Thursday, 15 December 2005

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puts a ban on somebody asking somebody to announce executive policies. He never asked that. He asked the minister to advise the Assembly of what is happening.

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Again, I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. It is my great pleasure today to announce that the new emergency services headquarter precinct, including the specialist outdoor training centre, will be established at Fairbairn. The requirement to establish a new headquarters and outdoor training complex for the ESA was identified in the McLeod inquiry and was committed to by the government.

The establishment of the new headquarters precinct and training facility at Fairbairn provides the ESA with modern premises in a secure location away from residential areas, with the capacity to undertake both routine and major operations. The ESA will be getting a new, state-of-the-art headquarter precinct and training facility to deal with the increasing demands placed on the ACT Emergency Services Authority now and well into the future. This precinct will become home to many sections of the ESA, which are currently spread all over the ACT, including risk management, media and community information, equipment storage, workshops, resource centre and an air support operations centre.

The number of emergency triple zero calls is expected to rise dramatically in the next five to 10 years, based on current projections. This proposal allows us to design a purpose-built facility for our communications centre. It will also contain two other key operational facilities: a new emergency coordination centre and a new emergency information centre. There will also be a new simulation centre. For the first time, we will be able to bring staff and volunteers into the new simulation centre in the morning for the theory side of a particular scenario and then go out in the afternoon and put it into practice at the specialist outdoor training centre. The training of our men and women is of key importance.

Some parts of the ESA will be moving into buildings as early as February next year. We are already housing our helicopters at the air support operations centre. We envisage that the ESA will be settled into their new home by mid-2007. With the decision to move to Fairbairn, the government is fulfilling the final two of the McLeod recommendations and a major election commitment.

National competition policy payments

MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, what is your view of today’s announcement on national competition policy payments to the ACT?

MR STANHOPE: I will take the question on notice.

MR MULCAHY: I ask a supplementary question. What is the ACT government doing to ensure that national competition policy payments continue into the future?

MR STANHOPE: We are working hard to ensure that they continue, as is every government in Australia.

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