I propose to take Questions Nos. 62 and 69 together.
The Government Emergency Task Force, under the auspices of the Department of Defence, is the framework around which national emergency responses are co-ordinated. Under the published emergency planning procedures, the national response to severe weather events is led by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. The Department of Transport plays a support role in responding to such events. The Severe Weather Inter-Department Co-ordination Group met daily over the duration of the severe weather to co-ordinate the national response and monitor impacts across all sectors countrywide. Following a meeting last Wednesday that Group have already commenced a review of the overall response to the recent event. The review will, amongst many issues, include transport related matters, community involvement and salt management issues.
Clearly the priority will be to continue to ensure there is sufficient salt supply to keep the national primary road network open during any sustained period of severe weather. I am also of the view that public authorities should examine ways of supporting community groups in "self help" efforts. As I have indicated this is an issue which will be considered in the review currently underway. The review is expected to be largely completed over the next 6 weeks and Government Departments including my Department will be actively contributing to the review based on their experience over the recent spell of severe weather.