Page 1615 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 10 May 2017
It is my understanding that the thrust of Mrs Jones’s motion centres on the issue of primary incident control in the case of fires that may start in the BAZ. The questions embedded in the motion focus on which organisations would take the lead in case of a fire that starts in the BAZ and then heads towards defined built areas, and vice versa regarding rural zones.
Madam Speaker, my memory is that these issues have been raised either in the Assembly or in the media quite a few times since Mr McLeod’s major inquiry. I appreciate that this also includes changes in policy, procedure and regulations over time. The last time these issues were debated in the chamber was during discussion on the Emergencies Amendment Bill 2016 in June last year. The bill made a number of relatively minor changes to the Emergencies Act 2004 in order to implement the recommendations from a review of the act that was conducted in 2015. Amongst these was language to better define legislative responsibilities for BAZ control and incident control. This also led to the publication online as a notifiable instrument of a clear and unambiguous map of the territory highlighting what is defined as rural, a bushfire abatement zone and built-up areas.
But noting the need to ensure the community’s ongoing understanding of these important issues, and particularly in light of increased development towards the New South Wales border, as Mrs Jones has noted, I am happy to support Minister Gentleman to come back to the Assembly in August. I think the points that have been raised are fair and reasonable questions. It is important that we have absolute clarity on this and the opportunity to discuss this.
Ms Cody: On a point of order, Madam Speaker, I know that Mrs Jones has raised a very important matter and that this motion is extremely important. I urge everyone to listen very quietly to Minister Rattenbury as he is making his contribution.
Mrs Jones: On the point of order—
MADAM SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Jones.
Mrs Jones: I wanted to be listened to when I was explaining what the matter is because other officers have asked me what the matter is. It is explained in my speech.
MADAM SPEAKER: Mrs Jones—
Mrs Jones: No, I need to finish.
MADAM SPEAKER: No, you are talking to a point of order—
Mrs Jones: Yes, and my—
MADAM SPEAKER: Mrs Jones, I am going to ask you to sit down, please. I would ask all members, as we get to this late hour of the day, to be respectful of others when they are on their feet. And that goes to all members, Mrs Jones. Mrs Jones, I think the matter is resolved.