Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 5 Hansard (10 May) . . Page.. 1472..
MR PRATT (continuing):
jackets. These non-compulsory corporate uniforms have cost the government close to $50,000. These employees are not front-line workers. Minister, how can you justify spending $50,000 on corporate uniforms for people who are not front-line staff?
MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Pratt for the question. The decision to provide corporate uniforms for ESA staff was a decision taken by the commissioner of the Emergency Services Authority. I can advise members that, as a consequence of the government's consideration of the functional review, I will be requiring a full assessment of all levels of all areas of expenditure within ESA. Certainly the issue of corporate dress is a matter which I will be paying some attention to.
The advice I have from the commissioner is that the issue of corporate dress and the wearing of corporate dress does have a number of operational benefits for the organisation, in particular where the organisation is required to participate with other emergency service organisations and there is need to be able to easily identify staff from respective agencies. That is an issue that obviously will need to be taken into account. However, I think it is appropriate that we fully review the levels of expenditure in the ESA on a whole range of matters, and certainly the issue of corporate uniforms will be one of those matters I will be paying close attention to as the budget is finalised and announced over the coming month.
MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. Minister, is wasteful expenditure such as this the reason why Mr Costello has recommended making substantial cuts to the budget of the ESA?
MR CORBELL: I am not going to speculate on what is in the functional review. Members will see the outcomes of the government's consideration of the functional review when the budget is brought down in June.
MS PORTER: My question is to the minister for emergency services. Can the minister advise the Assembly on the commissioning of the six new intensive care ambulances into the ACT Ambulance Service?
MR CORBELL: The government has been involved in a program to actively replace the ACT ambulance fleet and, as part of that, in this financial year six new intensive care ambulances were ordered for the ACT Ambulance Service. All of those vehicles have now been commissioned, and I am pleased to say that the ACT community now has available to it six new ambulances as part of the ACT's ambulance fleet. These ambulances will provide a broad range of services and facilities for ACT ambulance paramedic staff and will provide a very important complement in meeting emergency needs across the city.
I am particularly pleased that the ambulance service undertook a broad level of research and investigation in putting together the new ambulances. In particular, the involvement of staff who actually use the vehicles on a daily basis was central to determining the best configuration for equipment and resources within the ambulances as well as the presentation of the ambulances on the outside. Members may now see the new livery for all the new ambulances as they go around the ACT. I think that all members would agree