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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 February 2018) . . Page.. 139 ..

whether the staffing levels mean ambulance staff are overworked and experiencing additional stress and whether their physical and mental wellbeing is negatively impacted. This is already a stressful job. Not only do staff have a right to be healthy and happy in their job, but having staff that are stressed or overworked ends up negatively impacting on service delivery.

Mrs Jones’s motion also asks that the government identify every date and shift which fell below the minimum crewing level. I understand this would be a very onerous and resource-intensive task. The minister has spoken to that today, outlining that it would essentially require the manual checking of every shift. That would divert resources from the Ambulance Service, which I believe should be focused on delivering ambulance services to the people of Canberra. I am unclear exactly what Mrs Jones hopes to get from this information in this format when it will divert resources from important work in the ACT Ambulance Service, so we are not prepared to support that part of the motion.

I note that Mr Gentleman has circulated an amendment, after some discussions in the chamber today. The amendment includes an addition of looking at the issue of support and monitoring the wellbeing of front-line staff. They are comments I already had in my prepared remarks, and this is an important point. I am pleased to support that addition to this motion.

I think Mr Gentleman’s amendment is fair. It retains the essential points that Mrs Jones has made in her critique. I think it is right to assess whether this metric is the right metric. If the ACT Ambulance Service is delivering the best response times in the country—and we know it is—that says to me we have a very effective system. So whether this metric is the right metric is a good question. Throughout areas of government there are measures that exist, but whether they are good measures is sometimes the debatable point. It is certainly something I am exploring with my directorates, to see whether some of the performance indicators we have are the right ones.

I have heard the opposition sometimes quite fairly critique some of the measures that exist as being measures of input rather than output or outcomes. These are real debates we should have, and I think this is one of those occasions. Now we are focused on this metric, let us have a look at whether it is the right one or not. That is an important part of Mr Gentleman’s amendment—that that metric will be reviewed to determine whether it remains an appropriate guide to the allocation of ambulance resources. On that basis the Greens will be supporting Mr Gentleman’s amendment today.

MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (11.57): I move my amendment, which has now been circulated, to Minister Gentleman’s proposed amendment:


“(d) explain how we have arrived at a position where the Service has been under minimum crewing 41.5% of the time in the previous financial year.”.

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