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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 11 August 2016) . . Page.. 2776 ..

MR HINDER: Minister, why the rotation and what benefit does that bring to the community?

MR GENTLEMAN: The vision of the Australian Alps cooperative management program is to promote excellence in conservation management across the alps bio-region by fostering strong partnerships between the agencies. Rotating the office of program manager between the partner agencies ensures that each has a strong sense of ownership while preventing the perception of any one agency dominating the agenda. Rotation of the program manager’s office and occupant has also proven a highly effective means of reinvigorating the program.

In the context of the alps program, the community consists of the rangers and field staff who manage the 12 regions covered by the MOU. The rotating arrangement builds collaborative relationships amongst participating agencies. The past 30 years has clearly demonstrated the benefits to field-based agency staff of this cooperative arrangement.

One of the primary objectives of the alps program over the next three years is to strengthen the links between project outcomes and agency staff and to disseminate and apply the results, tools and lessons learned across the jurisdictions.

Mr Barr: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Supplementary answers to questions without notice

Bushfires—Mount Clear

MR CORBELL: I have a matter arising from question time, Madam Speaker. Mr Jeffery and Mrs Jones asked me some questions about the fire at Mount Clear in December last year. Mr Jeffery asked me when the fire was first detected and reported. I can advise that the fire occurred as a result of a series of storms in the southern part of Namadgi national park, which resulted in a lightning strike igniting bushland in the vicinity of Booth Range in the Namadgi national park.

It was reported to the ACT RFS duty officer at 5.28 pm on Wednesday, 16 December 2015. When it was first detected, the fire was one hectare in size. I was asked when responders were first deployed to fight the fire. I am advised that the fire was in an inaccessible part of the Booth Range, with the closest road access being 2½ kilometres from the Shanahan walking trail and Boboyan Road intersection.

At the time, an ACT RFS-contracted helicopter was deployed from the Hume helibase and, after a size-up of the fire, immediately commenced water bombing in an effort to slow its progress. A second larger contracted helicopter located at Hume helicopter base was also tasked to this incident and commenced water bombing operations until last light on 16 December, the same day as the fire was reported.

Ground crews made their way into the fire on the morning of 17 December. The RFS duty officer, in consultation with TAMS directorate staff, conducted a risk assessment of the most appropriate and effective option to contain and extinguish the

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