Page 1559 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 10 May 2017

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chair that I would give very short notice of whether or not I could come. I informed him, and that is the reason why. I can tell you exactly what my other movements were on that night at another time, if you are interested.

MR PARTON: Minister, given that, would you agree that your very short lead-up time in terms of confirming that you were attending that meeting gives a perception to the community that you were not interested in speaking to members who were interested in the housing issue?

MS BERRY: That is completely not true. I have tried at every opportunity to have a conversation with individuals who have contacted my office. My office, the task force and Housing ACT have been meeting and consulting with individual members of the community in all of those different suburbs at every opportunity that we can. We have held consultations and have had hundreds of individual conversations, myself included, with individuals. I absolutely have been taking this seriously. Of course I take it seriously. What a silly thing to assume or even to suggest that I do not take seriously the issue of where public housing tenants live in our community and ensuring that the existing community has the chance to have a conversation with us about how that project could go ahead.

MRS JONES: Minister, did you, as claimed by a Holder resident at the meeting that night, take with you to an onsite meeting with constituents at Holder a security guard? That is what was claimed.

MS BERRY: No, I did not.

ACT Fire & Rescue—recruitment

MS CODY: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Can the Minister please advise the Assembly on the current status of recruitment initiatives in ACT Fire & Rescue?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Cody for her question and for her interest in our fire service. The ACT government is committed to making our community safer. This was confirmed by the funding increase for emergency services in the last budget.

I am very pleased to inform the Assembly that today I announced that the coming budget will include a recruit college for ACT Fire & Rescue. The college will see 16 new firefighters join our highly professional urban fire and rescue service. As the Assembly is aware, ACT Fire & Rescue performs extremely well by national standards. In the 12 months to 30 June 2016, Fire & Rescue recorded the best major city and state-wide structure fire response time—10.2 minutes—in the country, measured at the 90th percentile.

This government is proud of the work of our men and women in our emergency services and gives thanks for the professionalism of all the staff who work tirelessly to deliver the services around the clock. We are committed to giving our emergency services personnel the resources they need to do their job and continue to look after

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