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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 August 2018) . . Page.. 2525 ..

MADAM SPEAKER: Members on my left, please!

Ms Lawder interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Ms Lawder, I did not invite you to say anything, so please refrain. The minister was asked a question and she is answering it. Please give her the respect to be heard.

MS BERRY: Thank you, Madam Speaker. As I said, this is a great outcome for recognising the fantastic work that the renewal taskforce has been doing in the ACT in renewing public housing and making better, more sustainable, environmentally friendly, more affordable homes for our public housing tenants. It is also a great outcome for the fantastic defence families, who we welcome into our city.

Emergency services—recruitment

MS CODY: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, what update can you provide about recruitment of firefighters to the ACT?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Cody for her interest in our emergency services workers across the ACT. The government is committed to helping grow key services as our city grows. This is why the government is supporting our front-line emergency workers through additional measures. An important part of this is the commitment we made in last year’s budget to fund the ACT Fire & Rescue recruitment program, the recruit college 39.

This recruit program not only helps recruit the firefighters that our city needs but also actively focuses on getting more female participation. Increasing the numbers of women in our emergency services is at the heart of the women in emergency services strategy, something I have spoken about in this place in the past.

Recruit college 39 resulted in 17 new firefighters, including two Indigenous firefighters and four female firefighters. This follows on from the nine firefighters who commenced duty as part of the recruitment in November 2017 and the 16 firefighters who joined ACT Fire & Rescue as part of the 2016 recruit college in October 2016.

This year’s budget includes funding for a further recruit college for 18 new firefighters. I look forward to seeing the new recruits who come through as a result. Through the stewardship of the Chief Minister, this government is providing firefighters and paramedics, as well as more front-line staff in other areas, and also investing in the core services that a growing Canberra needs.

MS CODY: Minister, I note that you just mentioned paramedics in your answer. Has there been any recent recruitment of paramedics in the ACT?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Cody for the supplementary question. Indeed I did mention this. Of course we need to grow services as the city grows, something that the

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