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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 9 Hansard (18 September) . .

Page.. 2935..


ACT Ambulance Service—uniforms

MR SMYTH: My question is for the minister for emergency services. Minister, is it true that almost six years after the procurement process began for new uniforms for the ACT Ambulance Service the said new uniforms have not been issued to members of the ACT Ambulance Service?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Smyth for the question. Regrettably, we have had some problems with procurement of uniforms for the ACT Ambulance Service. The reason for this is that a number of the successful tenderers have gone into liquidation, and another of the tenderers has not met their obligations under the tender. Therefore, new tenderers have had to be selected. These circumstances are beyond the government's control but we have acted appropriately to rectify the situation once these circumstances have come to the government's attention.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, is it true that when trialling a preferred uniform, officers had a nervous reaction to the chosen uniform?

MR CORBELL: Mr Smyth alludes to the matter I was addressing in my previous answer, which is that one of the tenderers supplied uniform equipment which did not meet the prescribed standards set out in the tender. In particular, one of the pieces of uniform did result in a low-level allergic reaction or skin irritation when it was worn, for some officers. As a result, the tenderer has been advised that the equipment, the uniform, does not meet the standards set out in the tender that was awarded to them and that those issues have to be rectified by the supplier, at their own cost, not at the government's cost.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: Minister, when will members of the ACT Ambulance Service receive their new uniforms?

MR CORBELL: The government is working closely in consultation with the ambulance officers, the Ambulance Service and the union that represents ambulance officers to see that the situation is rectified as promptly as possible. I met with the ambulance union today, the office of the union that represents ambulance officers. We discussed this matter and they indicated to me their satisfaction with the way the government was responding to these circumstances, which are, as I said earlier, circumstances that are beyond the control of the government. Where there is a failure on the part of tenderers to meet their obligations under the tender awarded to them, appropriate steps are taken, as they have been taken in this case.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: Minister, why have you ignored your responsibilities as minister for emergency services? Is it due to your preoccupation with capital metro?

MR CORBELL: I have not.


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