Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994

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Parliamentary Record 6


Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 23 November 1994 as occurs in the states. The minister said that he was negotiating with the Defence Forces because they were removing fire fighters from the RAAF base at Darwin. This is quite true. I understand that the RAAF had 12 firefighters, but now looks to the Northern Territory government to supply fire protection. I believe the Northern Territory government baulked a little at first. However, it was pointed out that the government already provides fire protection services to the installations at Larrakeyah and at Waler Barracks. I understand negotiations are proceeding. I am not anti-defence, but I believe we have to keep our feet on the ground when considering certain issues. Whilst we welcome the presence o f Defence personnel, as individuals and collectively, it is a fact o f life that a large concentration o f people provides very special problems, particularly in respect o f fire protection. Before this was discussed, the RAAF Fire Protection Unit had a loose arrangement to provide fire protection for civilian purposes outside the base. I know that the Special Fire Protection Unit at the airport was available also to provide fire protection in relation to fires off the airport that were similar in nature to those that would require their specialised services elsewhere. I know for a fact that the fire unit at Coonawarra Naval Base provides fire protection for civilians in places other than on the base, but that that is as far as that kind o f cooperation with the community goes. It would seem that the Army has had no cooperative arrangements with the Northern Territory government or the Northern Territory Fire Service to provide any fire services for civilian purposes. I believe that, if arrangements are struck with the Defence Forces for the Northern Territory Fire Service to provide fire protection for Defence installations, then equal consideration has to be given to protection for civilian installations, civilian housing and things like that. I am fairly certain that it would be because, as I understand it, the Northern Territory Fire Service operates on the basis of the time when calls for assistance are received. If somebodys house is burning and a call is received to attend the fire, it is my understanding that the Northern Territory Fire Service will attend regardless o f the level o f capital involved. The Northern Territory Fire Service is fairly efficient and I believe that efficiency has been demonstrated despite what the Deputy Leader o f the Opposition said in a recent press release. I believe it does pretty well. Her remarks were directed at the under-financing of the Northern Territory Fire Service. I understand there is an ongoing inspection of equipment. It is very important that the vehicles and other firefighting equipment be kept up to standard because, as with all emergency equipment, you never know when it will be needed. It has always to be kept ready. I agree in part with what the Deputy Leader o f the Opposition said about the high ladder vehicle in the Northern Territory Fire Service. I understand that it does need replacing. It has not been here for very many years. Nevertheless, it has to be kept in tip-top condition all the time. It is worth over $ lm and, considering the work for which it is intended and that it is the only piece o f machinery o f its kind in the Northern Territory which is designed for that specialised purpose, it is very important that it be kept up to date. I have known members of the Northern Territory Fire Service for many years. I have had quite a deal to do with them through their having unfortunately to attend fires on my property. I remember attending a union meeting with them many years ago. I believe that was about 4 fire service chiefs ago when the Northern Territory Fire Service came under 1861

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