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Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Page: 5642

Mr COMBET (Minister for Defence Materiel and Science and Minister Assisting the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency) (12:54 PM) —Perhaps it would be convenient if I provided the breakdown of fires on a state-by-state basis. I do not know the specifics on the question about the Queensland collection of these statistics. However, I can give the figures. As at 15 June, 174 fires had been linked to addresses where insulation had been installed under the discontinued Home Insulation Program.

For the assistance of the member for Flinders, as I have seen some public comments he has made in recent times, it is important to note that there can be some time between a fire incident occurring and a report being made to the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. For example, in the past two weeks—since the last update—the number of reported fire incidents has increased by 18. However, these fire incidents did not all happen in the past fortnight. In fact, in some cases those reports relate to fire incidents that occurred as far back as October last year. As the department updates the number of fire incidents, fire brigades and other authorities are also reporting, and sometimes that reporting results in an increase such as has occurred—albeit that the incidents might be many months old.

As to the breakdown of that 174 fires that the department has now recorded, New South Wales has recorded 60 incidents, Victoria 74, Queensland 29, South Australia 3, Western Australia 4, Tasmania none, the ACT 4 and the Northern Territory none. I hope that answers the member’s question.