Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 1 December 2022) . . Page.. 4165 ..
More recently, the ESA has been working with ACTAS and the TWU to deliver a modernised and sustainable service plan. This strategic planning encompasses findings and recommendations from previous external reviews, including the Blueprint for Change, and focuses on increasing training and development opportunities, improving wellbeing support and better work-life balance, while continuing to address the operational demands of the growing ACT community.
Additionally, there is an immense body of work and research that has already commenced in formulating a new and modernised roster that supports our hardworking paramedics. As a former shiftworker, I do understand the pressures of shiftwork and an effective roster system. The implementation of this new roster remains one of our top priorities, moving forward. It will focus on addressing the operational demands of the growing ACT community, increasing training and development opportunities, improving wellbeing support for paramedics by combating fatigue, and offering more opportunity for a better work-life balance.
Furthermore, the government has continued to invest in our triple-0 centre, known as ComCen, in recognition of the increased workload and demands on staff and infrastructure. We do recognise that there is much more work to be done in this area, and we remain committed to working with ACTAS staff, the TWU and the ESA to deliver this important reform. In the 2021-22 and 2022-23 budgets the government funded an additional eight positions for the ambulance section of ComCen and a further $210,000 for health and wellbeing initiatives. Over $1.3 million was also provided to help boost significant infrastructure upgrades by adding a further 10 call-taker consoles.
I am advised that the ESA is working hard to establish improved lines of communication between the day-to-day management of ComCen, ACT Ambulance senior staff and the chief officer. As part of ESA’s engagement with unions, the TWU has put forward a proposal concerning the future of ComCen. I understand that this is being carefully considered and that further decisions and discussions will occur with the unions once the proposal has been worked through. The ESA and the government are open to considering any suggestion that improves outcomes for staff and ensures that the ComCen structure continues to provide a range of benefits and career opportunities across the service.
The government is committed to protecting Canberra’s future and will continue to invest in our frontline services. I would like to reiterate how proud I am of the work that the ACT Ambulance Service does in supporting our community. Our paramedics are highly resilient and always strive to be there when Canberrans need them. Our continued investment, through ACT government funding and ongoing work with the ESA, unions and staff, will help to ensure that they can continue to protect Canberrans as our city grows.
In closing, I want to thank Mr Milligan and Mr Braddock for their engagement on this issue and the tripartisan manner in which we have been able to deal with Mr Milligan’s motion and the amendment that I have circulated.
MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (4.04): I would like to thank Mr Milligan for bringing this important topic into this Assembly, because it is one matter that our community is