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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (5 August) . . Page.. 3539..


MR PRATT (continuing):

The points that I have just made and the concerns expressed to me by a number of ambulance officers beg the question. Since the McManus fiasco-remember the ex-New South Wales ambulance officer recruited and vetted by the ACT Ambulance Service who turned out to be underqualified and carrying a drug habit?-has the HR system been rectified? What action occurred? Was anybody disciplined for that incredible breach of administrative practice? Did McManus's arrival reflect a sloppy sweetheart deal rather than a genuinely professional and objective recruitment and selection system? Are we losing good officers because there is no retention plan in place? Like the broader health system, is there a malaise in the ambulance service amongst the ranks affecting capability and the delivery of fundamental services?

the information that I have from the complaints of more than 10 individuals is that there is an erosion of overall crew strengths and there have been too many experienced officers leaving without sufficient reserve in organisational strength to temporarily cover losses and other considerations, including sick leave. The under-resourcing of the ACT Ambulance Service, both financial and human, reflects the ongoing crisis in the ACT public hospital system.

Current ACT ambulance officers are indicating to me that at least two more fully functioning ambulances and crews are needed to bring the ACT into line with its minimum requirements to service the people. For example, there has been concern expressed about being able to reach the southern extremities of the ACT. I found it entirely puzzling to hear the TWU today sheepishly admit on radio, after much media questioning, a need for one more ambulance. I have to say that the TWU is out of touch with the rank and file of the ambulance service.

Even the ambulance officers are saying that we need an increase of at least 30 per cent on top of the current resources of the ambulance service. Curiously, the TWU is not saying this but disenchanted, experienced ambulance officers are. And, of course, I can take an educated guess that the government is going to dismiss that idea and let the ACT Ambulance Service go down with the rest of the ACT public hospital system.

There is another issue here. We are concerned not only that ambulance stretchers are being used as hospital beds. While ambulance stretchers are being used as hospital beds, ambulances are not available to the field for call-out, nor are they available for crews to return to base for ongoing "in-shift"training. I do not think that is acceptable and I do not think it is necessary to offload patients-

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The time for the discussion has now expired.

Totalcare-fleet business-disposal of undertakings

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming, and Acting Minister for Planning) (4.32): I move:

That, in accordance with section 16 (4) of the Territory Owned Corporations Act 1990, this Assembly approves the disposal of the Fleet business undertakings of


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