Page 5281 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 15 November 2011

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MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, what is the additional delay in emergency response times resulting from the ESA headquarters being located at Fairbairn?

MR CORBELL: There is no delay. Operational response occurs first and foremost from the ESA stations. Members opposite clearly do not understand how the emergency services operate, in that you have these buildings called fire stations. So you have these buildings called fire stations and you have these buildings called ambulance stations. And guess where they are? They are spread out all around the territory, and they are there for a reason. What happens when someone picks up the phone and says, “I need a fire truck, please”? The fire truck is dispatched from the fire station to the suburban area. Mr Speaker, believe it or not, that response does not occur in the first instance from Fairbairn. I would have thought that after nearly four years in the job as shadow minister for emergency services, Mr Smyth would understand that there are facilities called fire stations and ambulance stations and that that is where fire trucks come from and ambulances come from.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary.

MR HANSON: Minister, does the fact that the helicopter facility and the ESA training facility have been relocated to Hume validate that you got it wrong in keeping the ESA headquarters at Fairbairn?

MR CORBELL: No. The development of the RFS helicopter facility at Hume and also the ESA training facility at Hume is an effective response because, first and foremost, it saves the territory money. We are able to park helicopters at Hume without the need to pay parking charges to the airport, and that significantly reduces costs to taxpayers.

National Multicultural Festival

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I congratulate you on your initiative to further the cause of Movember.

My question is to the Minister for Community Services. Minister, could you inform the Assembly about initiatives to engage the ACT multicultural community in the lead-up to the 2012 Multicultural Festival?

MS BURCH: Mr Speaker, I think I have already made comment on your contribution to date.

The National Multicultural Festival is an extremely popular and important way of recognising the diversity that exists in Canberra and across the ACT. I have been told that last year the festival reached a new record, with over 110,000 people attending on the Saturday.

In addition to the festival steering committee, this year the Office of Multicultural Affairs has partnered with the Canberra Multicultural Community Forum which held

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