Following last Friday’s Auditor General report on the ACT’s bushfire preparedness, Shadow Minister for Emergency Services, Brendan Smyth has called on the Government to release its emergency services requirement and capability data.
“The Canberra Liberals have called on the Government to release such details on previous occasions but the Government have consistently denied all requests. Our latest request was last month, but the Government declined, noting that such information was not ‘considered appropriate for public release.’’ Mr Smyth said.
“What we see from last week’s Auditor General report is the Government’s growing complacency with regards to emergency preparedness.
“Recommendation 2 of the report noted that the Government’s unwillingness to provide an explicit statement of all necessary resources to meet the objectives of the ACT Strategic Bushfire Management Plan was a breach of the Emergencies Act 2004.
“Canberrans have the right to know whether the Government has allocated enough resources to manage and prevent natural emergencies.
“Emergency Services Minister Simon Corbell’s actions to block transparency and access to such information is cold comfort for Canberrans who lived through the horrors of the 2003 bushfires.
“The Auditor General has quite plainly noted that withholding such information from the community amounts to legal noncompliance.
“If the Government has nothing to hide, it is time that they release the relevant data and assure Canberrans that there is adequate capability to meet our city’s emergency services requirements,” Mr Smyth concluded.