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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 13 August 2015) . . Page.. 2919 ..

Brindabella in Tuggeranong. That will be a most welcome addition to the town centre and will provide ACT Ambulance Service paramedics with a modern, upgraded facility in a strategically located station for the Tuggeranong region. This capital works project is a further step in our ESA station upgrade and relocation strategy.

This government has continued to demonstrate its commitment to the SURP—the station upgrade and relocation program, which it launched in November 2011 under the leadership of the former minister, Minister Corbell. In October 2013 construction of a new co-located ambulance and Fire & Rescue station in west Belconnen was completed ahead of time and under budget. The new west Belconnen station was a key first step in the government’s commitment to improving emergency response coverage across the territory.

In March this year I was pleased to officially open the new Fire & Rescue station in south Tuggeranong and I also turned the first sod on the construction site of a new co-located ambulance and Fire & Rescue station in Aranda. The new Aranda station, which was announced in the 2014-15 budget with a capital investment of over $18 million, is scheduled to be completed in the middle of 2016 and will complete phase 1 of the overarching SURP.

The adaptive reuse of the former fire station at Greenway to become a modern, fit-for-purpose ambulance station is the first element of phase 2 of the ESA station upgrade and relocation strategy. It further underscores the government’s continued commitment to enhance the delivery of emergency services by strategically locating stations to better meet the needs of a growing population.

This budget will invest over $200,000 to attract and retain women in emergency services, and includes money for design work to upgrade facilities at ESA stations that support personal dignity and privacy and to address workplace issues. It provides additional funding for an ACT Fire & Rescue recruit college to maintain operational capabilities and to encourage female participation.

Mr Smyth spoke about some of our Fire & Rescue stations and emergency stations. I have been very active over the last six months and have visited stations across the city. I agree that there is work to do. That is why I am very pleased that in this budget there is an absolute commitment to do that design work so that we do upgrade the facilities across our emergency services stations. I do have a commitment to encourage and to bring more women into the Emergency Services Agency and to make sure that we have a diverse workforce that reflects our community.

This budget also formally recognises the strategic reform agenda as a priority for this government. It recognises the significance of this government’s commitment to the reform agenda and acknowledges the ESA’s future direction and commitment to ensure it is best placed to deliver safe and resilient outcomes for this community.

Under the strategic reform agenda, the supporting women in emergency services initiatives are anticipated to proactively attract and retain women who meet the high standards of entry into the ESA workforce. This is indeed in line with the women in emergency services strategy. Under the SRA the ESA is continuing the good work of the ACTAS blueprint for change. I am very pleased to see that ACTAS is progressing

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