Page 3230 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 18 August 2009
A combined total of 134 recommendations were made by the coroner and Mr Ron McLeod following their detailed inquiries into the Canberra 2003 bushfires. The government agreed with 122 or 91 per cent of these recommendations. Following this, the government agreed to ask the ACT Bushfire Council to report on progress on implementing the government agreed recommendations.
The Bushfire Council’s report indicates that 108 of the 122 agreed recommendations have been implemented. This is a figure of 88.5 per cent. This is the result of a concerted effort by so many across government, particularly the Emergency Services Agency and the Department of Territory and Municipal Services. The report from the Bushfire Council has also recommended supplementary actions be undertaken on 22 recommendations.
The Assembly should be mindful that the coroner’s report was only handed down just over 2½ years ago. To have so many recommendations implemented by this time, I believe, is a significant achievement.
I am pleased the Bushfire Council has indicated that it is well placed to undertake the ongoing risk monitoring and reporting against this report as a function of its activities, which is consistent with their functions under the Emergencies Act. This report and its ongoing monitoring is testament to the fact the government is taking these recommendations seriously and will, with the assistance of the Bushfire Council, ensure that the agreed recommendations from the McLeod report and the Doogan inquiry will continue to be implemented. It is with pleasure that I provide a copy of the report to members today.
Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to the next sitting.
Human Rights Act 2004
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (3.21): I present the following paper:
Human Rights Act 2004—The First Five Years of Operation—A report to the ACT Department of Justice and Community Safety, prepared by the ACT Human Rights Act Research Project, the Australian National University, dated May 2009.
That the Assembly takes note of the paper.
On 18 November 2003, the former Attorney-General, Mr Stanhope, introduced into the Assembly the Human Rights Bill 2003. In doing so, the ACT became the first Australian jurisdiction to take human rights seriously. The bill was passed in March 2004 and commenced operation on 1 July 2004 as the Human Rights Act 2004. It was the first human rights charter in Australia and a model for other Australian jurisdictions, including Victoria, whose charter of rights commenced operation more than two years later, on 1 January 2007.