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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 February 2018) . . Page.. 136 ..


for the work they do, having done similar work myself. The remaining vacant paramedic positions to fill the normal attrition vacancies are expected to commence in two intakes in March and May 2018.

The third part of the announcement funds an additional mechanic to support the ESA workshop and enhance our capability as we continue to increase the size of our fleet. The action taken by the government in relation to this matter demonstrates its commitment to ensuring that Canberra continues to be one of the safest communities in the world to live, while also supporting the welfare of our dedicated ambulance workers.

In relation to part 2(b) of Mrs Jones’s motion, I note the request to advise the Assembly of the dates and shift types of each emergency ambulance shift which fell below minimum crewing in 2016-17. I cannot agree to this request on the basis of advice that providing this information would require a considerable amount of ACTAS staff time and resources and would unreasonably redirect them away from the important functions that they do now.

A considerable amount of time has already been spent by ACTAS staff in providing Mrs Jones with the raw figures in answering question on notice No 662. I note Mrs Jones’s comments in relation to the time taken to provide the answer. I advise the Assembly that my office went backwards and forwards with her office to assure her that we were trying to provide her with all of the details necessary. It took quite a bit of time to get that done because of the data that had to be retrieved.

There are two ambulance shifts per day, as we have heard—day shift and night shift—which equates to approximately 730 shifts per year. In 2016-17 ACTAS operated approximately 427 shifts with 10 or more crews, and 303 shifts with fewer than 10. However, I am advised by the ACTAS chief officer that during known periods of low demand ACTAS has accepted operating with fewer than 10 emergency ambulance crews. For example, if it is known that there are not enough staff to roster to crew 10 emergency ambulances in the middle of the day, every effort is made to backfill the rostered shifts. The same effort to backfill rostered shifts might not be applied for night shifts during the middle of a working week. In these instances, ACTAS accepts operating with fewer than 10 emergency ambulance crews in the knowledge that the high standard of care for the community is maintained.

While the ACTAS chief officer informs me that this arrangement has been manageable, demand is increasing. With our commitment to the welfare of our dedicated ambulance workforce in mind and to help them continue to serve the community, we announced the extra staff late last year. Like all front-line services, ACTAS continually monitors its policies and procedures to ensure it is providing the best possible care for the community. As my amendment notes, ACTAS will continue doing this. As my amendment also notes, ACTAS will review its crewing levels to determine whether the current minimum remains an appropriate guide to allocating resources.

The ACT community can have the highest confidence in the performance of their Ambulance Service. I take this opportunity to thank the ACTAS chief officer and all


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