Page 2911 - Week 09 - Thursday, 13 August 2015

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The minister took a question on notice and my understanding is that there have been no lateral transfers of this nature within the SES. They have dollied up the answer by saying, “But there were five in JACS over a period of time.” Well, fantastic, that is good for JACS. But is not good for the SES. This was the opportunity. Here was a chance. The ACT may have ended up with a female head of service, which would have been a great outcome because she may have got it on merit, which would be even better. But she never got the chance.

This is the government that always talks about equity and equality and people getting a fair go, but it never delivers. When it comes to the crunch, it does not deliver, and that is a shame. The minister at one stage was talking about an all-female college for the fire service. We need to look at whether females can get on in the fire service of the ACT. One of the prerequisites as you travel up the chain of command in ACT Fire & Rescue is that officers spend some time at the brigade technical and operational support section at Fyshwick. That is where you learn the technical aspects of the trade.

It is important that senior officers know this material so they can bring to bear all that knowledge when they are fighting a fire or conducting a rescue. But apparently they do not have toilet facilities, bathroom facilities, at that shed for female officers. What year is this? 2015, and we do not have the ability for female officers to be stationed long term, I am told, at the brigade technical and operational support section at Fyshwick. What a joke.

Is it any wonder this minister is not interested in giving officers a fair go inside the SES? They are not getting a fair go inside Fire & Rescue either. It is a shame, because we have got excellent officers; they do a good job irrespective of their gender. But we do not have a minister who is committed to making these things work. The Labor Party are always talking about quotas in parliament for females, but they fail in the ACT on the basic ground of everybody having equal access to having a go. That is a shame.

This is all going on while we have the strategic reform agenda underway. And hasn’t that been incredibly successful? The minister got a dixer about it during question time today, and I urge members to read what the minister said about the strategic reform agenda. The reality is that all she was able to say was, “Well, there are three new positions.” There is more bureaucracy to clag up the system instead of having a streamlined system that allows the chief officers to get on with their jobs.

Let me look at the document that has been circulated called the strategic reform agenda—cohesive operations, a collaborative management team and a unified executive. You would almost question why you would have those statements. “Cohesive operations”. Do we not already have cohesive operations, or are we failing on that score too? “Collaborative management team”. Do the management team not work together? “A united executive”. Why would you have a united executive as one of the strategic reforms on your agenda? Surely it should be about the people. Surely it is about the output and the outcome. Surely it is about better response times. Surely it is about keeping fires small, limiting damage, and ensuring that people who are sick

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