Page 4120 - Week 13 - Thursday, 31 October 2013

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MR WALL: Treasurer, what impact will these increases have on local businesses?

MR BARR: They will be offset by reductions in other taxes.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, can you specify where the anticipated additional $5.4 million in revenue will be going?

MR BARR: Across a range of services. But I note that the cost of provision of emergency services is significantly more than revenue raised through this line item.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Does the expenditure on emergency services this year go up by $5.4 million then?

MR BARR: I would imagine it exceeds that amount.

ACT Ambulance Service—culture

MS LAWDER: My question is to the minister for emergency services. On Monday you ordered a review into the culture of the Ambulance Service. The Human Rights Commission, WorkSafe ACT and Comcare are also conducting separate reviews of the Ambulance Service. A year ago the Transport Workers Union raised concerns about a “dysfunctional and toxic” management culture in the service. Minister, why have you allowed this “dysfunctional and toxic”—which is a direct quote from the Transport Workers Union report—culture to develop within the Ambulance Service?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Lawder for her question. First of all, the Human Rights Commission and the other agencies that Ms Lawder refers to in her question are not conducting reviews into the Ambulance Service. They are responding, respectively, to different complaints about particular circumstances and particular instances. In total, I am advised that there have been six matters over the past three years that have resulted in some form of investigation when it comes to a bullying or related inappropriate behaviour incident. It is a small number of matters. But these are not reviews of the Ambulance Service per se; they are reviews of complaints handling in relation to particular incidents.

Secondly, I do not accept that the culture in the Ambulance Service is toxic. I said that earlier this week. I do not accept that it is toxic. It is not what I see or hear on the ground amongst ambulance officers. The union can speak for itself in relation to these matters, but I do not accept that characterisation.

What we have seen in the Ambulance Service is a very dramatic growth in the organisation over the past four to five years—a very dramatic growth in its scale and scope of operations and in the number of personnel employed within the organisation. That is because this government has made significant investments in employing more

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