Page 4984 - Week 15 - Thursday, 15 December 2005

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(5) What effect will the removal of these trees have on the area and will it lead to community areas that are currently used by residents for exercising or other activities becoming hazardous to use; if not, why not;

(6) Who is undertaking the removal of the trees.

Mr Hargreaves: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) In accordance with the Strategic Bushfire Management Plan (SBMP) for the ACT Version 1, Urban Services, through their Bushfire Operation Plans (BOP) are contributing to residents’ defensible space by reducing fuel loads in inner and outer fuel-management protection zones.

(2) The works are been carried out in urban open space that runs along the Tuggeranong Parkway and Hindmarsh Drive through to Heysen Street in Weston. Work commenced in October and will continue through to mid December 2005.

(3) The number of mature trees removed to date is in the order of 25 with a trunk girth greater than 12 inches, these were located either under power lines or interfering with bushfire emergency access. The works will continue to remove dead trees and shrubs, saplings, woody weeds and vegetation that interferes with bushfire operations such as access and the ability to provide a defensible space at the rear of properties. No more mature trees will be removed from this project.

(4) The Department of Urban Services carried out a letter box drop to nearby residents giving two weeks notice of the commencement of the works and providing the opportunity to discuss the works on site or by telephone. Consultation occurred with a number of residents both prior to and during the early stages of the works and these residents were all satisfied with the process and requirement to meet the SBMP.

(5) The works carried out in these areas are providing a defensible space and access for bushfire mitigation in accordance with the SBMP. The removal of the vegetation reduces any hazards and actually makes the areas more accessible to the community as well as bushfire services.

(6) The bushfire operational crews for Urban Services are undertaking the work as part of the Bushfire Operation Plans for 2005/2006.

Security—Macarthur House
(Question No 747)

Mr Pratt asked the Minister for Urban Services, upon notice, on 15 November 2005:

(1) How long have external security guards been in use at Macarthur House in Lyneham and what is the reason for their presence;

(2) What is the cost of these security guards to the ACT Government;

(3) Is the use of these guards a permanent measure or a temporary arrangement and why.

Mr Hargreaves: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

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