Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 6 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 1486..
MR SESELJA: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I do not think the question has been answered.
MR SPEAKER: Come to the question, please.
MR SESELJA: I will. Did ACTPLA seek assurances from the NCA in relation to their interpretation of the national capital plan? If so, when?
MR BARR: The advice I have from ACTPLA is that they took the decision to approve the DA with conditions on 21 September. The NCA provided a letter to ACTPLA in relation to the peer review that they had undertaken, and they provided that letter and that advice to the planning and land authority on 22 December. So the decision was taken by ACTPLA on 21 September 2006 and the report was provided by the NCA—a commissioned peer review report provided by the NCA—to ACTPLA on 22 December.
MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, can you advise the Assembly of the demands being placed on the ACT Ambulance Service in the past 12 months and the steps that the Stanhope Labor government is taking to address these demands?
MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question and I acknowledge his ongoing interest in matters affecting the ACT Ambulance Service. I note that Mr Gentleman held a very successful forum last Thursday evening which was an information session for members and members of the public on the challenges and the workforce skills that our ambulance officers have.
The government is very cognisant of the fact that the ACT Ambulance Service continues to see a significant increase in demand for its services. Indeed, in the past 12 months alone there has been a 15 per cent increase in the number of calls for service by the ACT Ambulance Service and that is a trend that has been going on for a number of years; we repeatedly see increases in demand for services of over 10 per cent per annum.
In response to this I am very pleased to see that in the budget yesterday the government is providing funding to the total of $4.9 million over four years for two additional intensive care ambulances, as well as 16 staff, including a large number of that for trained paramedics to staff those ambulances, as well as funding for an additional patient transport vehicle to assist people leaving or travelling to hospital in non-emergency situations and, importantly and perhaps regrettably, an ambulance designed to transport people who are morbidly obese.
This is a very important investment for the ACT community. We have one of the best response times in the country—in fact the best response time in the country—for ambulance services and we know that getting an ambulance to a household early makes all the difference as to whether or not someone survives a major medical emergency such as a heart attack or a stroke. So the provision of these additional