Page 4114 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 16 Sept 2009

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MRS DUNNE: A laptop, yes; thank you. I declined to table the laptop but I did agree to table the letter that I was quoting from. Accordingly I table the following paper:

Battery cages—Copy of email to Mrs Dunne from Meg Parkinson, dated 26 August 2009.

Emergencies (Bushfire Warnings) Amendment Bill 2009

Debate resumed from 26 August 2009, on motion by Mr Smyth:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (6.05): The government will not be supporting Mr Smyth’s amendments to the Emergencies Act 2004. Firstly, I would like to thank Mr Smyth for bringing forward this bill. It is definitely an important issue to provide warnings to the community. Following the Black Saturday fires in Victoria earlier this year, it is indeed a very important and very topical issue across Australia.

However, I can advise the Assembly that, following the interim report of the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council, known as AFAC, facilitated a national workshop to look at these issues. That workshop looked at a range of issues, including:

• reviewing the fire danger rating, known as FDRs;

• developing descriptors and key messages for each of the FDRs;

• identifying terms that align the key messages with the common alerting protocol;

• identifying criteria that determine the trigger points for communications to the public during existing fires;

• developing common descriptors and key messages for existing fires;

• designing a model that aligns all of the above on a national basis; and

• developing an implementation/communication plan to deliver the outputs with states, territories and agencies, including key media messages aligned with the matters I have just mentioned.

These workshops have allowed for the development of a nationally consistent approach, which, through the Australian Emergency Management Committee, has been agreed to and endorsed by all states and territories within the last couple of weeks. As members would be aware, these decisions have been announced in recent days in all the states and territories. Indeed, I announced these arrangements in relation to the ACT yesterday.

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