Page 919 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 20 March 2012

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It is worth noting that I have been impressed by the community education programs that our emergency services personnel undertake, with campaigns such as storm safe and home winter safety, farm firewise and the bushfire awareness week. There is no doubt that our emergency services workers and volunteers are doing fantastic work. Of course, the work of our emergency services was highlighted most recently through the provision of awards such as the community protection medal, which recognises the special efforts undertaken by the quiet achievers in our emergency and police services when it comes to serving their community.

Overall, it is important to note that the recent weather events have been the single largest incident that the ACT SES has had to respond to in its history here in Canberra. There were just under 1,000 calls for assistance during that time. There was a massive coordination effort involving all SES units and volunteers, but also RFS brigades, ACT Fire and Rescue, Territory and Municipal Services, the Ambulance Service and mapping volunteers. All have been engaged in a dedicated effort to help our community manage through what has been quite extraordinary weather in recent weeks.

I want to place on the record my thanks to them all. They often go unnoticed or are expected to be there in the most difficult of conditions. But today we get to say to them: thank you for the time you have volunteered, thank you for your ongoing commitment as a volunteer, and thank you on behalf of the people of Canberra.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (3.47), by leave: I want to thank the minister for providing me with a copy of his statement this morning in a very timely manner. I fully support his comments. All I would add is that I commend the Chief Officer of the ACT SES, Mr Tony Graham, and his very small group of full-time employees, and a very much larger group of volunteers, for their magnificent efforts during the recent extraordinary wet weather in and around the ACT and in jurisdictions further afield. On behalf of the Canberra Liberals, I would just simply like to say: very well done to everyone, in particular those that are away. We give them our best wishes and look forward to their safe return. We thank you for the contribution that these ACT people and personnel have made to the other states to help out in emergencies elsewhere.


Discussion of matter of public importance

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): Mr Speaker has received letters from Ms Bresnan, Mr Coe, Mrs Dunne, Mr Hanson, Mr Hargreaves, Ms Hunter, Ms Le Couteur, Ms Porter, Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, Mr Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Ms Hunter be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

An evidence-based approach to reducing crime in the ACT.

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