Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 14 Hansard (Thursday, 30 November 2017) . . Page.. 5563 ..
Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders—Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm
(Question No 815)
Mr Milligan asked the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, upon notice, on 3 November 2017:
(1) What are the policies and procedures for use and access to the Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm property during (a) extreme weather events, (b) hot weather and (c) inclement weather, such as incessant rain.
(2) What are the policies and procedures for use and access to the property during flooding of (a) Paddy’s River, (b) Point Hutt Crossing and (c) Cotter River.
(3) What are the policies and procedures for use and access to the property during (a) snow fall, (b) very high fire danger periods, (c) severe fire danger, (d) extreme fire danger and (e) catastrophic fire danger.
(4) Who will remain on the property during each of the events listed in part (3) and what is the emergency evacuation procedure for the person/persons.
Ms Fitzharris: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:
1. a, b & c - The NBHF has a system in place where every gate is numbered along with the name of the paddock and whether access to that paddock is permitted. All persons accessing the wider property are required to take a Territory Radio Network (TRN) radio with them and advise facility staff of where they are going and approximately what time they will be back. If the person gets lost, fatigued or injured, they can call the facility for someone to come and get them, quoting the gate number or paddock that they are in. All persons are encouraged to access the wider property with a buddy. These procedures do not alter regardless of weather, however, staff would actively dissuade persons from entering the wider property during extreme and inclement weather events.
The water levels would be monitored during heavy rain events to be able to decant the facility if it became likely that the bridge would be flooded.
2. Access to the facility is maintained by the emergency egress track. This track will remain passable by 4WD vehicles even when there is flooding of these rivers. Access to Canberra will be via Tharwa Bridge.
3. There is a Bushfire Action Plan that denotes actions to be taken at each Fire Danger Index (FDI) and other triggers. This plan has been reviewed and approved by the ACT Rural Fire Service (RFS). The prescribed actions form part of the Facility Emergency Management Plan required under Australian Standard 3745:2010.
a) Snow fall – A risk assessment would be undertaken and determine the best course of action, depending on snow depths, road conditions, vehicle and staff capabilities.
b) Very High FDI – The plan includes remaining within the centre and monitor the fire progress. Prepare for possible evacuation. Evacuate if an uncontrolled fire enters the pre-emptive trigger range after consultation with the RFS. If unsafe to evacuate, Shelter-in-Place provisions to be enacted, including notifying the RFS. (NBHF is a designated Shelter in Place Facility).