Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 1 December 2022) . . Page.. 4160 ..
ACT Ambulance Service—staffing and working conditions
MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (3.45): I move:
That this Assembly:
(1) notes that:
(a) since 2020, the Government has promised to increase the number of serving ambulance officers to meet the increasing demand;
(b) on 4 August 2022, Mr Gentleman told the Assembly that previous funding packages had delivered 53 new paramedics; and
(c) annual reports from the previous years show that the number of serving ambulance officers has increased by only five this last financial year, and only 18 the financial year previously, which is a total of only 23 paramedics;
(2) further notes that:
(a) annual reports show that demand has increased by 11 percent over the last year;
(b) this year has seen a significant shortage of paramedics such that fire crews have had to be deployed to meet demand;
(c) major issues for the paramedics present at the meeting include long night shifts, with paramedic rosters scheduling workers on back-to-back night shifts of 14 hours long per night;
(d) according to the Transport Workers’ Union spokesperson, the one ComCen program has lagged for seven years and delivered nothing other than a change in uniforms; and
(e) on Friday 25 November, paramedics unanimously passed a motion of want of confidence in the leadership of the Emergency Services Agency; and
(3) calls on the Minister for Police and Emergency Services to:
(a) detail to the Assembly all actions he is taking to address the issues raised by the ambulance officers; and
(b) report back in the first sitting day of 2023 with a progress report.
Today I am calling on the minister for emergency services to detail to the Assembly all actions he is taking to address the issues raised by ACT paramedics and to report back on the first sitting day of 2023 with a progress report.
In particular, I am looking to hear from the minster how he is addressing the shortages of paramedics that we have seen this year; his response to last Friday’s no-confidence motion by paramedics because of ongoing rostering issues and long shifts; what he is doing to employ new paramedics; and how he is addressing their health and wellbeing needs.
This motion highlights the significant problems facing our ACT paramedics and the ACT community. Recently, I received an email detailing the long wait for an ambulance by an elderly patient. The elderly person, suffering significant health