Page 4064 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 16 Sept 2009

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MR SPEAKER: Ms Burch, a supplementary question?

MS BURCH: Could the minister share with the Assembly the reasons for the commonwealth Liberal Party not supporting a telephone forewarning system, and what could that tell of their commitment to forewarning?

Mr Seselja: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I do not think the minister actually can give an answer as to what was in the minds of the former Liberal government.

MR SPEAKER: The question is out of order. A supplementary question, Mr Smyth?

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, why are you only hopeful that the new bushfire warning system will be available within the next three or four months when the need for this system has been discussed for so long?

MR CORBELL: If the Liberal Party were so unanimous about the need for this system, why did they fail to legislate in the commonwealth parliament for year after year after year to allow access to the integrated telephone database? If they want to point the finger on this issue, perhaps they should reflect on the activities of their federal colleagues who for the last three years that they were in government nationally refused to legislate to allow access to the integrated telephone database.

I was very pleased when my colleague Mr McClelland moved legislation earlier this year and got the commonwealth parliament to agree to the access to the integrated telephone database. As a result of that, we finally have action on this issue.

Cotter Dam—enlargement

MS BURCH: My question is to the Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water. Can you please inform the Assembly of the basis for the ACT government’s decision to enlarge the Cotter Dam?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Burch for the question. It is important to reiterate the seriousness of the inflow situation we are currently facing. Inflows since 2002 have been well below the historical average. In 2006 we had inflows of 26 gigalitres, which was 60 per cent below the long-term average.

Ms Gallagher interjecting—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MR CORBELL: As of today we have had 11 gigalitres of inflow, which is 90 per cent below the long-term historical average.

Mr Coe interjecting—

MR CORBELL: This is a matter which should be of real and serious concern to everyone in our community and it underpins why we need to continue—

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