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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 February 2018) . . Page.. 142 ..

Instead of the minister coming in here and saying, “We need to do better. This is what led to the problem and this is what we are doing to fix it,” he comes in here and says, “Let’s move the goalposts to something that we can actually meet. Let’s not fix the problem. Let’s not address the underlying issue. Let’s simply throw money at it and move the goalposts.” That is appalling.

The minister has also failed to explain what happens when an ambulance is not deployed to a call. I note that the Ambulance Service is performing well in meeting its response times for jobs that it is deployed to, but when an ambulance is not available my understanding is that it often refers to our other emergency services, particularly our ACT Fire & Rescue crews, to respond as first-aid responders to an emergency call.

What impact is the under-resourcing of ambulance services having? It is shifting work to another emergency service, to work not in their core area but instead to bolster the inadequacies of this minister’s performance in managing the Ambulance Service. We have an ambulance service that is 41.5 per cent of the time below its minimum staffing resource, putting an additional burden on to the fire services.

I know a number of people that work in both specialties and they are good people. They work hard and they see it not just as a job but as a vocation. They go over and above to serve the community that they represent in their roles. They will always do the best job that they humanly possibly can because they know people’s lives are in the balance. But when they are not given the support by ministers and the government as a whole to be properly resourced, to be properly equipped to do their jobs effectively, that is letting the community down to a monumental standard.

The minister has made a decision to hide behind the smoke and mirrors of extra money and moving the goalposts without actually taking any responsibility for his shortcomings, without explaining to this Assembly and without giving this Assembly the respect that it deserves by actually submitting himself to some scrutiny and explaining why things are not performing as they should. By his own metric, he seeks to use the numbers, reject the motion, amend it to suit himself and hide behind the moving of goalposts and simply throwing more taxpayers’ money at a problem that is systemic and that is not going to be fixed.

Question put:

That Mrs Jones’s amendment to Mr Gentleman’s amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 9

Noes 12

Miss C Burch

Mr Milligan

Mr Barr

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Coe

Mr Parton

Ms J Burch

Mr Pettersson

Mrs Jones

Mr Wall

Ms Cheyne

Mr Ramsay

Mrs Kikkert

Ms Cody

Mr Rattenbury

Ms Lawder

Ms Fitzharris

Mr Steel

Ms Lee

Mr Gentleman

Ms Stephen-Smith

Amendment negatived.

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