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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 September 2011) . . Page.. 4031 ..

the ESA Twitter account during the event. Twitter was also used to keep news media updated on the response to the incident.

Regular updates were provided through the ESA website, which also saw a considerable increase in usage. Local radio, television and newspapers were also engaged to partner the emergency services to provide accurate and timely messages to the community. I want to thank everyone in the local media, particularly local radio, for their unstinting efforts in keeping the community informed throughout this incident.

Over the next few weeks, operational debriefs will be conducted amongst Fire Brigade, ESA, EPA and other personnel involved. The Fire Brigade will collate all operational information and provide a post-incident analysis to the government.

This fire was a complex operation, which exposed members of the ACT Fire Brigade to considerable risk. The efforts of these firefighters to continue a sustained operation for the time period involved is worthy of praise from the entire ACT community and I commend the ACT Fire Brigade for their efforts. Firefighters were assisted in their efforts by many other ACT government agencies and by ACT Policing. Many of the people who participated in the response went above and beyond their normal duties to ensure, as much as possible, the safety of the ACT community and to limit the impact of the fire.

A carefully managed and planned response to the environmental impact of the fire was quickly put in place by the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate, particularly through the ACT EPA, to determine the extent and concentration of any toxic material and plan a response accordingly. And all of these staff should also receive praise for their efforts under very difficult circumstances. I thank them for their efforts.

Special mention should also be made of the support received from the New South Wales EPA who provided assistance with monitoring and gave overnight priority to analyse samples to support the ACT response. Fire and Rescue New South Wales also provided assistance to the ACT Fire Brigade responders at Mitchell and provided other appliances on standby to provide fire cover for the remainder of the city while the fire was being fought. Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting supplied a firefighting crew and vehicles, and this was also greatly appreciated.

This incident has been a dangerous and a disturbing one. But it has also amply demonstrated the strengths and capabilities of the structures adopted by the government for the coordination of an emergency management incident.

In conclusion, I want to assure the Assembly and the broader community that the government will respond to the findings of the independent investigations into this incident and make whatever changes are necessary to its policies, regulations or practices to ensure we can continue to provide a safe and healthy environment for the community.

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