Page 137 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 15 February 2006

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2005-06 of $9.3 million to a net worth in 2008-09 of $9.3 million. That is a disaster really, isn’t it?

Productivity Commission report on government services

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the minister for emergency services. Can the minister inform the Assembly of the results of the recently released Productivity Commission report on government services in regard to emergency services in the ACT?

MR HARGREAVES: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. The Productivity Commission’s report on government services 2007, known as ROGS, which compares government services delivered across the country, revealed the ACT’s emergency services to be among the best in the country when it comes to a range of emergency management indicators such as recruitment of volunteers, response times and customer satisfaction.

I am pleased to inform the Assembly that ROGS 2006 reveals the ACT Ambulance Service to be the best in the country, on two fronts. The report shows our ambulance response times are the fastest in Australia, meaning that Canberrans are receiving emergency medical assistance, overall, more quickly than people in other states and territories. In addition, community satisfaction with our ambulance service is at 98 per cent, jointly leading the country with South Australia.

This is a great result for the people of the ACT who also benefit from an ambulance service that includes an intensive care paramedic in every ambulance. This high standard of service is also achieved with a great deal of efficiency for the taxpayer, with the ACT expending the second lowest amount per 1,000 people on ambulance services in the country.

The opposition’s reaction to this news is interesting. True to form, Mr Pratt has found one figure in the ROGS report that he thinks he can seize on and has gone about trying to scare the community yet again without justification.

Mr Corbell: He is good at that.

MR HARGREAVES: He is good at that. I think he is a lecturer in that. He has taken figures from one table and used them again to accuse the government of reducing funding levels. To quote his release:

While the population of the ACT has increased, the level of funding we see now is back to 2000-01 levels.

Had Mr Pratt bothered to read a little further into the report and thought about the subject matter in question, he would have in fact observed figures that show a marked increase in the level of spending per thousand people since 2000-01. For the record, the report highlights a spending increase from $10.4 million, or $33,009 per one thousand people in 2000-01, to a total expenditure of $19.4 million, or $59,811 per one thousand people in 2004-05. Hardly the reduction that Mr Pratt has incorrectly deduced and publicised! Yet again, Mr Pratt is encouraged to read and think more widely before making accusations.

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