Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3129 ..
I think the minister was scrabbling when he was playing out these sorts of excuses—and we have seen this from the Transport Workers Union official, Mr Ben Sweaney, who represents the intensive care paramedics. He said ambulance officers were frustrated that the government had not acted on the outcome of the feasibility study. He said the union believed the methodology for the report was sound and the government needed to adopt the recommendations. He said people in growing areas such as west Belconnen may be disadvantaged due to the poor placement and resourcing of ambulance services.
So this notion that somehow the methodology was wrong is also refuted by a union. The minister needs to come clean. The minister is very quick and easy with his words sometimes. The same article says that at that time the emergency services minister, Simon Corbell, said the government was developing a new report. Hang on a minute: “We are using the station relocation feasibility study, and it will inform other future decision making in the infrastructure report,” but suddenly the minister is saying, “We are developing a new report.” The confusion here and the contradiction here are enormous, and it really does show that this minister is not up to the task of providing the infrastructure for emergency services. Of course, the minister, shy petal that he is, when asked this, refused interviews. Mr Corbell declined a request for an interview on the issue, but did issue a statement.
The station relocation feasibility study remains in draft form. My understanding is that the minister received a final copy. I have seen a front page that says “Final report” and it was endorsed by the senior officers of Emergency Services—the senior ambulance officer, the senior fire officer, the senior SES officer, the senior RFS officer and the commissioner and deputy commissioner at the time. It was signed off by the officials and sent to the minister.
But since then we have had nothing but delay, and that is unfortunate. These are important services. They do need to be resourced properly and located appropriately. So the question the minister needs to stand up and answer is: what is the truth about the report and his receipt of it, and how is he looking at it closely, if he has not got it? When will something be done and when will the people of the ACT get the services that they deserve from their emergency services—and when will the valuable staff, the uniformed and non-uniformed officers of the ESA, be given the tools to do their job properly? We have a lot of lip-service given to the McLeod report, most of which has been undone, we have a lot of lip-service given to the coronial inquiry’s report, most of which has not been done or has been undone, but what we do deserve is a better standard of leadership. The officers of the Emergency Services Authority are certainly not getting it.
Just in the minute remaining, Madam Assistant Speaker, JACS is a very large area. It covers a number of areas. Mrs Dunne has looked at the court system. Mr Hanson has looked at corrections. One area of a great deal of importance to many Canberrans is the Unit Titles Act. We look forward to the minister’s explanation as to how he will move forward on the Unit Titles Act, given how many people it does affect. The dissenting report does ask that the minister, Mr Corbell, consult with Mr Barr to make sure that we do get a seamless process here.