Page 3653 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 23 August 2011

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MS PORTER: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, have you got anything else you would like to say about this question of mismanagement in this area?

MR CORBELL: The regulatory arrangements in relation to this area of Canberra are very clear. Under the Emergencies Act the Fire Brigade has powers to issue a directive to remove flammable material and also issue improvement notices, and there is an offence in relation to an improvement notice. It also gives the Fire Brigade powers to arrange for the removal of a fire hazard. Where the residence is deemed to be a fire threat or identified as other potential emergency risk, the Fire Brigade can take action, as I have indicated, to deal with the issue.

Parkwood has presented problems for the ACT Fire Brigade periodically over the year. The ACT Fire Brigade has continued to work with relevant government agencies to implement strategies to mitigate risks. The fire on Saturday, while attracting attention, behaved as the Fire Brigade expected in the event of a fire and did not pose any threat to the residents of Belconnen.

I would like to commend the work of the ACT Fire Brigade in responding to this particular matter for their professional response and also, indeed, the support provided by the ACT Rural Fire Service volunteers in monitoring the site over the following 48 hours following the incident.

The premises are isolated from adjoining recycling premises and the area of the fire was isolated by a containment break. The circumstances of the fire were such that the Fire Brigade were aware of the potential risk. Steps had already been taken to mitigate the risk, but obviously if you do have a large stockpile of timber, even a stockpile of timber which has been assessed by the Fire Brigade and appropriate mitigation action taken, if you have a fire you still need to deal with it. I am pleased that we have the appropriate strategies to do so.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary, Mr Seselja?

MR SESELJA: Thank you. Minister, when was the last time prior to the fire that the site where the fire took place was inspected by the Property Group or the ESA, and was any advice given to the tenant?

MR CORBELL: As I indicated in my answer to Mr Coe’s original question—perhaps Mr Seselja was not listening—that visit took place in March this year.

Transport—infrastructure initiatives

MS BRESNAN: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development and concerns cooperation with the federal government on rail infrastructure initiatives. Minister, the ACT made bids to Infrastructure Australia for a

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