Page 56 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 13 December 2016

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During our coming four years I will champion our emergency services personnel and our police, ensuring that they have the support they need to continue doing the great work they do each and every day in our community.

MS ORR: Minister, how will the government’s policies and priorities boost the safety of the local community?

MR GENTLEMAN: Ensuring the safety of our community is one of this government’s highest priorities. To do this we will be putting more police on the beat to help combat alcohol-related violence to ensure that everyone who wants to head out on the town can do so in safety.

In relation to family violence, we will be ensuring that police have the resources and the backing they need. In particular, police will be working closely with other key agencies, within and outside government, to ensure an effective and collaborative approach. By giving police the backing and the resources to respond to family violence, we are ensuring that victims of family violence get the support they need and can feel safe in their own homes. And we are ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice and given the appropriate support to overcome this problem.

As I have just noted, the government will be employing more paramedics and firefighters. Most of us will hope never to need the services of a firey or ambo, but I am sure all Canberrans want the reassurance that comes from knowing that the Ambulance Service and Fire & Rescue service have the right people and equipment to respond to emergencies across our community.

MS CODY: My supplementary question to the minister is: how do the government’s policies and priorities support emergency services personnel and police officers?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Cody for her first supplementary question. Emergency services workers and police have some of the toughest jobs in our society. When everyone else is heading for safety, these are the people who head towards the danger to protect life and property. So it is vital that the government provide the right services and support to our firefighters, paramedics and police officers.

This government is committed to providing the right facilities and the appropriate support. As I have noted, the government will be rolling out a series of measures to support these personnel, including new and upgraded stations and enhanced mental health services. Not only will this help them to respond to emergencies; it will help them to deal with the demands of their jobs, giving them the appropriate support.

Canberra Hospital—staffing

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, I refer to a report in the Canberra Times of 3 December 2016 about demand for action on a hospital crisis, entitled Nurses at breaking point, raising concerns about staff shortages at the Canberra Hospital. What is the relationship between staff shortages at the Canberra hospital and workplace fatigue and dangers to patient care?

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