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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 12 April 2018) . . Page.. 1372 ..

that cars can travel at when passing an emergency services vehicle on the road that has flashing red or blue lights. It is important to note that the new laws apply only when an emergency services vehicle is either stopped on the roadside or travelling slowly and only if it has its red or blue lights on.

If anyone driving a car sees a red or blue flashing light and an emergency services vehicle, for example a fire truck, an ambulance or a police car, stopped by the roadside or travelling slowly on the road, they must firstly approach the emergency services vehicle at a speed that can allow the driver to stop their car if necessary, give way to a stopped or slowed down emergency services vehicle and, when passing the vehicle, they must travel at 40 kilometres an hour or less and do this until they are satisfied that they are sufficiently past the stopped or slowed down emergency vehicle. The new speed limits will not apply if the emergency services vehicle is stopped or parked on a road divided by a median strip and is on the other side.

Through this change we hope to drive a culture change in our territory and, as the CPO said, help create a better working environment for our emergency services workers.

MS CHEYNE: Minister, what other steps are being taken to care for the health and wellbeing of emergency services workers?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Cheyne for her interest in our emergency services personnel. Changing the speed limit for cars passing stopped or slow-travelling emergency services vehicles was just one measure our government committed to prior to the last election to improve the safety, health and wellbeing of emergency service workers. The ESA has also engaged a manager for welfare programs. This new manager will be responsible for peer support programs in the ESA. I am also advised that work is underway by the ESA to develop a training package for this program.

Another important aspect regarding the health and wellbeing of emergency personnel is ensuring that they are recognised for their good work. On Tuesday night I was pleased to attend the ACT Fire & Rescue awards ceremony. The awards saw 44 members of ACT Fire & Rescue recognised for service. One member, Jeff Southwell, was recognised for 40 years of service, and Jason Jones was awarded the chief officer’s meritorious services medal for his outstanding contribution to the service. Southie is well-known, of course, for his football coaching prowess. I was also very pleased to present Chris Lind, an old work colleague of mine, with his award.

It was a fantastic evening and showed that we have a great fire and rescue service. Congratulations to each of the 44 members who received an award and to all members of ACT Fire & Rescue who, like our emergency services personnel, work hard and do a fantastic job in keeping our community safe as we grow our city.

Taxation—unit rating system

MR MILLIGAN: My question is to the Chief Minister and Treasurer. On 7 April 2018, the Canberra Times reported that ratepayers were raising concerns about

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