Page 1562 - Week 04 - Thursday, 7 April 2011

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the question was about staff shortages, not about the cost of childcare, and the minister needs to answer the question: when is she going to listen to the community about their concerns about staff shortages?

MR SPEAKER: On the point of order, I am actually not sure where Ms Burch is going with this quote, but we will see. Ms Burch, let’s keep the question in mind, thank you.

MS BURCH: The quote continues:

“Just reducing the carer-to-children ratio from 1:8 to 1:5 could mean an increase in cost of nearly 40 per cent. And that doesn’t count the cost of possible under-utilisation of capacity …

What that goes to show is that if you have indeed been listening to the sector, Mrs Dunne, you would know that we already meet the one to five ratio. So you are misinformed, you continue to be misinformed and you continue to spread it here.

Emergency Services Agency—headquarters

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, as a result of a severe storm that hit Canberra airport on 3 December 2010 the new headquarters of the Emergency Services Agency was flooded. Various operations undertaken by the agency had to be transferred temporarily to other premises. Minister, have all functions which were relocated from the new headquarters been returned to Fairbairn? If not, why not?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Smyth for the question. The operations of the ESA’s triple zero call-taking centre, or comcen as it is known, are still continuing to operate from premises at Curtin. The reasons for this are several-fold. First of all, the ESA commissioner has taken the decision that it would be unwise to relocate the comcen during the period of the bushfire season and that it would be most appropriate to make the transition back to the ESA headquarters in Fyshwick following the completion of the bushfire season.

Mr Smyth: The bushfire season is over.

MR CORBELL: The bushfire season finished six days ago, Mr Smyth. Secondly, the resolution of outstanding matters with the airport group in relation to repair of the building is ongoing. The finalisation of responsibilities in terms of insurance is ongoing. For those reasons, relocation has not yet occurred.

I can assure members that the operation of the comcen has been very reliable and constant throughout that period. The return to Fyshwick will happen in an orderly and considered manner once outstanding issues are resolved.

MR SPEAKER: Now your supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, what action has been taken since the storm to ensure that there is no repeat of the flooding at the headquarters of the Emergency Services Agency?

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