Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 February 2018) . . Page.. 134 ..
it was necessary? The business of emergency services, in particular our Ambulance Service, is often a matter of life and death, and I am sure I do not need to remind you of that.
I note that the minister has circulated an amendment and, after a conversation, has circulated an amendment to his amendment. His amendment talks about maintaining the service, time frames and community expectations, and I accept that this more positive information is probably accurate. Nonetheless, the amendment seeks to take out my request for an explanation as to how we got to this position in the first place.
The minister has also agreed in the “calls on” section to add that he will monitor the wellbeing of and support for our front-line service staff. What I am here to tell you is that they are not going very well at the moment. At least some of them are definitely suffering from the number of requests they get for overtime, and I am pleased to see that he has amended his motion to include that.
I foreshadow that I will then move an amendment to introduce a clause (d) which asks for an explanation as to how we came to this position, because it is not good enough to just say, “Whoops, I do not have enough staff; now I am going to start recruiting,” or “I am going to do continued and increased recruiting,” which I welcome. However, I think that in fairness and justice to the people of the ACT we do in fact require an explanation. I thank the minister for the changes to his amendment, which we will support, and foreshadow an additional amendment.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Urban Renewal) (11.41): I thank Mrs Jones for the opportunity to speak about the great work the ACT Ambulance Service does each and every single day. As Mrs Jones has indicated, I have circulated an amendment to her motion, and I have done this because there are particular comments and lines in Mrs Jones’s motion that are simply untrue. I move that amendment now:
Omit all words after “That this Assembly”, substitute:
(a) ACT Ambulance Service (ACTAS) currently aims for a minimum crewing level of 10 emergency ambulances for each and every shift plus two demand crews each 24 hour period;
(b) of the 730 shifts in 2016-17, only 427 shifts met this minimum level, while 303 shifts were below the minimum; and
(c) 41.5 percent of ACT emergency ambulance shifts in 2016-17 were below minimum crewing;
(2) further notes:
(a) for the sixth year in a row, ACTAS response times were the best in the country as reported in the Productivity Commission’s 2018 Report on Government Services; and
(b) the annual Ambulance Patient Satisfaction Survey shows the ACT Ambulance Service consistently meets community expectations; and