Page 72 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 14 February 2006

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The ESA take pride in providing training in all areas of emergency service. Over the last 12 months the Rural Fire Service volunteers have undertaken a larger than normal volunteer training program, with volunteers undertaking training in remote area fire fighting—RAFT—and training in the operation of new compressed air foam tankers. These areas of special training, without the assistance of people like Graeme Tonge, would be impossible.

Another valued volunteer involved in the emergency services is James Bodsworth. Jim, as he is known in the SES, is a full-time employed member of the work force as well as a committed husband and father, but has been a volunteer in the SES for over 17 years. With his wealth of knowledge, Jim has been promoted to commander of the ACT SES unit at Tuggeranong and relishes the challenges of the role he has undertaken. Under Jim’s command, there are four rescue teams, each containing seven members that are on call 24 hours a day on a two-week rotational system. Remember, these are volunteers, not paid members of the SES. These volunteers maintain high standards of training, with regular training programs taking place every Thursday in the case of the Tuggeranong unit.

The volunteers, as Ms Porter has already stated, are involved in areas that are not always pleasing and they have a need to maintain a high level of camaraderie. This is apparent through the regular social events organised by each unit and also getting out to the community to raise awareness of the work undertaken by many volunteers in the emergency services in the ACT. Another area where the ACT Emergency Services Authority excel is in providing school visits in which they inform the younger members of our community of the gratifying experience of volunteering to assist the community in times of crisis.

We have come a long way today in recognising the important and invaluable work of these amazing members of our community who give up some 300 hours a year for no monetary reward, and I would like to see us all take time to thank these volunteers any and every time we get to see them. The recognition of these volunteers shows the good work that is being done by the emergency services in ensuring that the people of Canberra feel safe and well protected by professional agencies. I congratulate them all.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Pratt): The discussion is concluded.

Casino Control Bill 2005

Debate resumed from 24 November 2005, on motion by Mr Quinlan:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (4.56): The opposition supports the bill, but I do have amendments which I will speak to in some detail when we come to that. This bill updates the existing act, which is a 1988 act. There has been quite significant consultation. The commission made recommendations and the government accepted the recommendations except, I think, for one.

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