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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 9 May 2018) . . Page.. 1658 ..

in upgrading footpaths and cycleways in high traffic areas and delivering more secure bike parking options in Braddon. The City Renewal Authority delivers a better CBD, and we are investing in local town centre upgrades with landscaping, infrastructure and traffic improvements to the Tuggeranong, Kambah and Gungahlin centres.

Investments are also being made in the area of emergency services. The ACT community can be assured that they live in one of the safest cities in the world, with well-funded, well-resourced and well-governed emergency services. As evidenced in the report on government services, the ACT Emergency Services Agency, the ESA, provides emergency response services to the territory that are among the best in Australia when measured by response times and capabilities provided.

As the city expands, the ACT government is committed to providing additional front-line resources that will aim to meet continued increases in demand. The government’s commitment in this area is demonstrated by the recent announcement to recruit 23 additional paramedics. The ACT Ambulance Service boasts the best response times in the country for the past six years, and these additional staff will allow the ACT Ambulance Service to continue to maintain these high standards of delivery.

A further recruit college for new firefighters funded in the 2017-18 ACT budget will see an additional 17 firefighters placed in front-line positions by June this year. This follows on from the 16 firefighters who joined ACT Fire & Rescue as part of the 2016 recruit college and the nine firefighters who commenced duty as part of the lateral recruitment in November 2017. The government will continue to make investment towards firefighters as needed to ensure we have the resources required to keep our city safe.

The ESA also has access to approximately 1,800 volunteers across the ACT State Emergency Service, ACT Rural Fire Service, community fire units, and mapping and planning support. Each of these volunteer groups provides fundamental capability that enables the ESA to work together to care for and protect the ACT community. To make sure our workforce of the future is accommodated in suitable buildings, the ACT government is making sustained investments into the workforces and workplaces our emergency service workers work in and from to ensure they are fit for purpose and suitable for diverse and varied employees and volunteers. The ESA station upgrade and relocation program is about improving community safety for Canberrans while the city expands and the population grows. Strategically locating ESA stations to better service the needs and expectations of the community will allow the ESA to continue to deliver high safety outcomes for the ACT well into the future.

The ACT government’s strong track record of supporting our emergency services includes ensuring they have the equipment to allow them to do their job effectively and safely. This is demonstrated by the government’s commitment to providing a new aerial pumper appliance and two new intensive care ambulances during this term of government. The growing ACT population, changing urban landscape and impacts of climate change all contribute to bushfire being identified as an extreme risk in the ACT. I assure the ACT community that the territory is better prepared for a bushfire

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