Page 3887 - Week 12 - Thursday, 29 October 2015

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ESA’s delivery of its services to the community. Further improvement is now required to bring the various emergency service bodies closer together and ensure that the ESA operates as a coherent whole.

The ESA’s strategic reform agenda seeks to improve operational effectiveness through a unified executive so that the agency operates as one organisation, delivering services to the community as one entity while respecting the operational and support services that work underneath it. As I have previously outlined to the Assembly, the objective of the strategic reform agenda is to ensure that the ESA continues to provide the highest standards of emergency services to the community through cohesive operations, a collaborative management team and a unified executive.

While this review has found that the act establishes the most effective framework for emergency planning and response in the ACT, it has identified a number of minor amendments to further improve the act’s operations. The amendments recommended by the review would improve the ESA’s ability to adopt an all-hazards approach to emergency planning and response; improve community safety by strengthening bushfire-related offences and the ability of the ESA to deal with potential hazards; improve the governance of the ACT Bushfire Council; strengthen the internal processes of the ESA; and remove from existing legislation potential inconsistencies and inefficiencies that hinder the effective response to emergencies. The ESA will now work on developing the necessary legislative amendments arising from the review, with a view to introducing them here next year.

In presenting the report, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the members of the Emergency Services Agency, both the paid staff and the many volunteers. The effective emergency management framework that we have here in the ACT would be of little use without the many dedicated men and women who work day and night to protect and serve the people of Canberra. I am sure that all members in this place would share my gratitude for the outstanding firefighters, paramedics, Rural Fire Service, SES volunteers and ESA support staff that we have here in Canberra.

As minister, I am committed to ensuring that those members have the resources and the powers available to do their jobs as best they can. This review forms an important part of meeting that commitment. I commend the report to the Assembly.

Planning and Development Act 2007—variation No 335 to the territory plan

Paper and statement by minister

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning, Minister for Roads and Parking, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Minister for Children and Young People and Minister for Ageing): For the information of members I present the following paper:

Planning and Development Act, pursuant to subsection 79(1)—Approval of Variation No 335 to the Territory Plan—ACT Government Land Release Program—Charnwood section 97 block 6—Zone changes, dated 16 October 2015, together with background papers, a copy of the summaries and reports, and a copy of any direction or report required.

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