Page 2404 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 August 2022

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innovating to improve ambulance services in the territory, ensuring that ACTAS remains a nation-leading ambulance service.

Our government has always and will always support our paramedics. I thank them for their ongoing dedication and commitment to our community and I look forward to continuing to work with them to further improve and modernise our ambulance service into the future.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, how does this year’s investment build on previous investments?

MR GENTLEMAN: That is an excellent question, Mr Pettersson. Your continued support of our frontline responders is much appreciated. Unlike those opposite, this government has a proud record of investing in our ambulance service and police and emergency services more broadly. While we hear the Canberra Liberals continue to prioritise budget cuts and slashing of frontline responders, we are continuing to invest in our frontline responders and emergency services, and we always will.

The more than $30 million announced in this budget will fund the next phase of implementation of the ACTAS modernisation and sustainable service plan, which will improve service delivery to the community, operational performance and staff wellbeing. It will support our community through the delivery of patient-centred care models and enable both low and high priority cases to see improved response times and provide alternate treatment options that will ultimately reduce the demand on our hospital system. The funding builds on our significant investments in ACTAS over the last term, including $15.2 million in the last budget and previous funding packages that delivered 53 new paramedics, seven additional ambulances and powered stretchers in all emergency ambulance vehicles.

While those opposite play politics and repeatedly vote against our budgets that provide for our emergency services, we are getting on with the job of delivering the support and funding that our frontline responders need. This government’s ongoing investment will ensure that our community continues to be supported by the most effective ambulance service in the nation.

DR PATERSON: Minister, how are you working with paramedics and their union, the Transport Workers Union, to support these workers in the service?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Dr Paterson for her important question. Our paramedics and other ambulance staff have been fundamental in responding to emergencies through the challenging environment that we have experienced over the last two years. We have seen record callouts, stressful situations and ongoing challenges through the pandemic. We see our paramedics on our roads daily putting themselves into situations to support the most vulnerable members of our community and being there for when things go wrong. Our paramedics respond to horrific and stressful emergency events and care for the wounded and injured as well as the family and friends of those.

Our budget commitments this year continue to demonstrate how, with the support of and engagement through the TWU, we are listening to and acting on the feedback we

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