Page 4043 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 30 October 2013
I also note that in today’s press Minister Corbell has announced a review of the ACT Ambulance Service, which obviously goes to the issues that Mr Smyth has raised in his motion about that particular service. I am supportive of that review and I am aware that the Transport Workers Union, on behalf of employees, is supportive of a review as well.
The Ambulance Service certainly is a high-stress and unique working environment. Most of us probably cannot really imagine what it is like even if we have heard some of the stories. It is obvious there are improvements that can and perhaps need to be made within the service. Certainly the press reports and the conversations I have been privy to indicate there are some issues that need to be looked at there, and I think this review is a good approach. I will certainly be keen to hear the details of how that progresses.
With those few remarks, as I say, I will not be supporting the motion in the formal sense of voting for it today, but I believe there are opportunities to take up these matters and allow for a detailed discussion about them in the near future.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (5.45), in reply: I start by thanking Mr Rattenbury for his approach and his consideration. It was in stark contrast to the snide manner in which the minister responsible for these issues approached the motion. And while I am not happy with the outcome, I hear what you are saying. This was an attempt to get more information, and it is interesting how much information the minister has given out today, none of which fills me with any confidence that the minister is across his brief. So, Mr Rattenbury, thank you for your approach. I accept your decision but it is our job, I think as you stated, to hold ministers to account for what happens in their portfolios.
Mr Corbell is the minister for emergency services. And he can get up and he can ridicule me, that is fine, and he can make flippant remarks about drink machines and changing the oil. But at the end of the day, he is the minister under the administrative arrangements, and it is the minister that we challenge and question. It is not public servants, it is the minister.
The amount of information that one garners from what Mr Corbell says is interesting. I will start working my way through the list, and I foreshadow to members that I will probably need a little more time, a courtesy that was extended to Mr Corbell.
I have a document from the United Firefighters Union that actually calls for a review of the emergency medical response. There is an executive summary. Mr Corbell has this document. He treated it with disdain as well. But it is not going to stop the union sticking up for their members. But I think it is reasonable to read out a couple of the dot points:
• The ACT Emergency Medical Response program (EMR) plays a vital role in pre-hospital patient care.