Investing in emergency services for a growing city

Released 05/06/2012

Delivering boosts to emergency services is a key focus of the ACT Labor Government in the 2012-13 ACT Budget, with $42.4 million in additional funding being provided across the services, the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Simon Corbell, said today.

The ACT Ambulance Service's frontline capacity will be boosted by 15 new staff and two new vehicles after the announcement of $9.5 million in funding in the 2012-13 Budget.

This $9.5 million injection of funding over four years is direct recognition from the ACT Labor Government that we must continue to resource our ambulance service to meet the demands of a growing city and protect Canberrans.

This funding will allow the ACT Ambulance Service (ACTAS) to recruit an additional 15 frontline staff including graduates, qualified paramedics and intensive care paramedics, and one support officer.

It also includes a capital allocation of $500,000 for two extra new intensive care ambulances to increase the fleet to cater for the additional staff.

This budget allocation further boosts the ACTAS's capability after a significant boost to frontline service in the 2011-12 Budget.

This year's Budget funding is on top of the $21.1 million provided by this Government in the 2011-12 ACT Budget to deliver 30 new ambulance officers and five ambulances that allowed for the introduction of two additional crews on shift for the ACT Ambulance Service.

Intensive Care Paramedics are at the coal-face of our health system in Canberra and need to be adequately resourced to continue to provide life-saving treatment to thousands of Canberrans every year.

Demand for ambulance services in the ACT continues to experience an average growth factor of approximately 8 per cent per annum as the population of the Territory continues to grow. The recruitment of the additional staff will start early in 2013.

The ACT Government has also allocated an extra $3.7 million in one-off funding for the Emergency Services Agency.

While the growth in the Canberra population presents specific challenges to ACTAS, we must also provide money to see the development of all our emergency services.

This money will maintain the quality and effectiveness of emergency management across all services through provision of additional funding for costs associated with a highly skilled workforce relying on increasingly specialised range of supplies and services.

Other specific funding initiatives funded in this Budget include:

-$24.6 million for a new joint fire and ambulance station at Charnwood, due diligence and concept design for additional future sites and Emergency Services' facilities upgrades;

-$3.8 million over four years to replace cardiac monitoring and defibrillator equipment across the ACT Ambulance Service.

-$400,000 to upgrade ACT Police stations and the Winchester Centre; and,

-$772,000 over 4 years to upgrade the Emergency Service Agency's phone systems and communications infrastructure that support the 000 (triple zero) response capability.

- Statement ends -

Section: Simon Corbell, MLA | Media Releases

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