Page 5402 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 16 November 2011

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Visiting dignitaries—cost

MR HANSON: My question is to the Chief Minister. Minister, as part of the Queen’s visit to the ACT last month what was the initial budget for the event and was this budget exceeded? Also, in relation to the planned US presidential visit, what was the planned budget and has this been exceeded?

MS GALLAGHER: My understanding is that most of the costs associated with the Queen’s visit and the President’s visit are being met by the commonwealth. There were some costs in relation to Floriade. I understand that was in the order of $60,000, in order to keep the event going a further four or five days. To my knowledge it remained within budget. I have not seen any additional costs associated with the President’s visit that are being incurred by the ACT government.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary.

MR HANSON: Minister, can you provide for the Assembly any detailed costs that you were unable to provide, so that we can confirm whether costs were exceeded, particularly in relation to Floriade?

MS GALLAGHER: It actually falls within Minister Barr’s portfolio, but I am very happy to provide that information to the Assembly.

MR SMYTH: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, how much of the funds was used to monitor the media reporting of the Queen’s visit to Canberra?

MS GALLAGHER: I am not aware. I will have a look at whether that was broken down to that level. It would be a very small part. There are about three people in the communications unit in CMD and I would not imagine that it was any significant cost at all.

Mitchell—chemical fire

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, late on 15 September 2011 a major chemical fire emergency began at Mitchell. A critical feature of the response to this chemical fire emergency, and indeed for any emergency situation, is the promulgation of timely warnings to the community. There are technologies available to utilise various communications options, such as telephone, SMS, Facebook and Twitter, in promulgating such warnings. Minister, does the Emergency Services Agency have a manual which provides a standard operating procedure for the preparation of warnings and for the promulgation of these warnings?

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