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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 26 October 2011) . . Page.. 5016 ..


Later, you said:

That report was not per se about the physical location …

Minister, the study in question is an expert report from quantity surveyors Wilde and Woollard. The title of their report is “ESA Relocation Study: Cost Benefit Analysis”. The stated purpose of their report is “to analyse … the proposal to relocate the existing Emergency Services Authority from their existing accommodation at Curtin, Belconnen, Kambah and Fyshwick to a co-located site at Canberra Airport”. Their report concluded that the proposal would be “substantially negative … the proposed relocation is not financially beneficial to the ACT”.

Minister, did you mislead the Assembly yesterday by saying that the Wilde and Woollard report related to the problems with the buildings that were proposed to be utilised for the ESA headquarters at Fairbairn and not to the site selection?

MR CORBELL: The relocation question that Mr Smyth raises is in relation to the suitability of the buildings. Wilde and Woollard identified in their study that the buildings proposed to be used, should the ESA relocate to Fairbairn, would be inadequate, and the government took steps to respond to that inadequacy. As the government has already made clear, a contract was already in place, a long-term contract was already in place, to utilise facilities at the Canberra airport. Exiting that contract would have meant that the government would have faced significant costs in breaking that contract. Therefore the prudent course of action was for the government to renegotiate its contract terms and provide for an effective operational headquarters at the airport.

I want to make it very clear that the ESA headquarters function is not as a primary response facility for the emergency services. Response to emergencies, particularly first response, occurs from ESA stations that are spread across the city.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, members!

MR CORBELL: Primary first response does not come from the ESA headquarters.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, thank you.

MR CORBELL: Some response from the ESA headquarters occurs if an incident is of a larger nature—for example, if headquarters personnel need to be dispatched to provide a higher level of supervision or operational command at a larger incident. The headquarters has performed its function extremely well.

Opposition members interjecting—


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