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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 438

Dr Klugman asked the Minister for Administrative Services, upon notice, on 30 April 1980:

(   1 ) What are the functions and responsibilities of the Commonwealth Fire Board.

(2)   What is the total estimated expenditure on and by the Board for 1979-80.

(3)   Has the Board been involved in co-ordinating and/or rationalising Australia's fire-fighting bodies; if so, what progress has been made to date.

(4)   ls it a fact that (a) there is at present no Commonwealth legislation requiring Commonwealth Departments to comply with State and local government Acts and regulations in this area and (b) building Acts and regulations, fire safety Acts and regulations and similar State instruments are not binding on Commonwealth Departments.

(5)   Has the Board made recommendations concerning the reform of legislation in this area; if so, what are the details of the recommendations.

(6)   Did the report of the Auditor-General on an Efficiency Audit of the Australian Property Function of his Department (presented to the House on 17 April 1980) recommend that special attention needed to be given to ensure consistency in the approach to, and application of, standards of fire protection and safety; if so, what action has been taken as a result of this recommendation.

Mr John McLeay (BOOTHBY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) The functions of the Commonwealth Fire Board are set out at page 2 of the Board's 1978-79 Annual Report which I tabled in the House of Representatives on 22 May 1 980.

(2)   $141,300.

(3)   No.

(4)   (a) and (b) Yes. lt is, however, the Government's policy to ensure that the requirements of State and local governments are observed as far as possible.

(5)   No.

(6)   Yes. The Commonwealth Fire Board, through its recommendations and circulars, seeks consistency in this area. In addition, my Department is preparing a draft of fire evacuation and safety procedures for Commonwealth owned and leased accommodation with a view to achieving co-ordination and uniformity, particularly in buildings accommodating more than one department.

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