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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 6 Hansard (5 June) . . Page.. 1862..

MR CORBELL: I am very happy to expand on the other elements of the budget that deal with radio and dispatch systems and the ESA. There is $7.4 million to upgrade the TRN network and computer-aided dispatch. These systems are integral to effective emergency response right across the city. The funding over the next four years will enable critical ICT infrastructure to be upgraded. This includes replacing the trunk radio network microwave ring, undertaking due diligence on the TRN infrastructure and radio terminal replacement and upgrading the existing computer-aided dispatch to maintain its capability to manage emergency operations into the future.

It is very, very important that we maintain investment in these critical systems. The government is making a very significant investment in these critical systems because we know how important it is that they are maintained to ensure that they are capable of operating at a high level of reliability, particularly in the event of an emergency.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.

MS BERRY: Minister, what does the continuation of the trial of an extended care paramedic program entail?

MR CORBELL: The extended care paramedic program—and I thank Ms Berry for the supplementary—is to finalise the evaluation currently being undertaken by the University of Wollongong on the effectiveness of the project. The key objective of this trial is to expand the current clinical competencies of our intensive care paramedics in collaboration with other healthcare professionals, to make sure that we can, wherever possible, deliver the highest quality level of support and care through the paramedic service.

There are a number of benefits to patients associated with this program, including effective follow-up of patients who initially refuse emergency ambulance transport, and therefore the associated risk reduction to the community; the ability where clinically appropriate to complement existing primary healthcare strategies, where care can be provided, wherever possible, in people's own homes; a reduction in low-acuity presentations; and complementing existing demand management strategies.

This has been an important trial. The government believes we need to bring it to completion and undertake that evaluation to determine whether or not it presents a suitable model into the future for further enhancing the level of care provided by our intensive care paramedics.


MR SMYTH: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, the 2014-15 budget cites a 50 per cent increase in the superannuation returns in the year 2014-15. What is the reason for such a large increase?

MR BARR: Presumably performance of the superannuation portfolio—very strong results from our investments.

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