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Call for inquiry into west Belconnen storm response | The Canberra Times


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The ACT’s opposition will push for an inquiry into the government’s response into last month’s storms, after there were significant blackouts in parts of west Belconnen. Some residents were left without power for up to six days after a severe storm lashed Belconnen in early January. Opposition spokesman for emergency services James Milligan will call for the inquiry in the territory’s Legislative Assembly on Thursday. Mr Milligan will call for the Assembly’s Justice and Community Safety Standing Committee to conduct the inquiry and hand down a report into its findings before the next storm season. “It is unacceptable that Canberrans were left without power for up to six days, especially when there are families with small children involved,” he said. “More than 16,000 homes were left in the dark during and for some time after the storm tore through Belconnen. “We have storms in Canberra every year, with more than 26 severe storms registered by the Bureau of Meteorology over the last 10 years. “Canberrans expect the Labor-Greens government to have a response plan.” Mr Milligan’s motion will call for public input into the inquiry from affected residents. The motion will call for the committee to examine the social, emotional and financial costs of those who have experienced storm damage. It will request that the committee look at the effectiveness of existing reporting mechanisms for storm damage, the adequacy of the response by various agencies, government and others and whether communication was adequate during following the storm. Mr Milligan will also request that the committee look at how the government has responded to storms in previous years. “The SES and local community volunteers do a great job at coming together to help the community in times of need, but the local government needs to play a more significant role in that too,” he said. MORE A.C.T. POLITICS NEWS: “I hope that the committee will be able to identify where the issues are and make strong suggestions for how these can be improved, based on best practice in other jurisdictions.” More than 850 requests for assistance were lodged with the ACT Emergency Services Agency following the storm and crews attended more than 1000 emergency incidents. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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