Queensland Parliament Hansard Green
FILE: 23022016_000922_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX
SUBJECT: Emergency Services Workers, Safety
MEMBER: Mr HART
Emergency Services Workers, Safety
Mr HART (Burleigh—LNP) (9.19 pm): The Academy Awards are on next week, aren’t they? You will get my vote, member for Townsville. Mr Speaker, it might be time to cue the cameras because I am going to reinforce something that the member for Thuringowa said earlier in the day. That is probably not going to happen too often, I can tell you. But this is an issue that the majority of members in the parliament can agree on, and that is the safety of our emergency services—in particular, in this case our ambulance officers.
I met with Kyla Golds, who is an ambulance officer in my electorate, in my office yesterday and she brought along her husband, Greg, who is a critical care ambulance officer from New South Wales. They run the #zerotolerance Facebook page. I am wearing their wristband today and their badge in support of that particular group. We have heard many times from the member for Thuringowa, the member for Barron River and the member for Gaven, reinforced by the member for Mudgeeraba, that there is a great deal of concern out there about the safety of our emergency services workers. These are the people who are going out and picking people up off the street. They are treating them for alcohol, drugs and illness and taking them to hospital. They deserve some respect. They do not deserve to be bashed for doing their job. As I said, I am pretty sure we are all in agreement on that.
It was interesting to hear the member for Thuringowa today talk about advertising, awareness, training and this zero tolerance program. Talking to Kyla and Greg in my office yesterday, we spoke about whether ambulance officers should have tasers, and they are not interested in any of that. They are not interested in stab vests. They are not too interested in advertising. What they are interested in is there being some consequences for people who do assault our emergency services workers. What they would like to see is some sort of mandatory sentencing. I know that is something that those opposite do not really agree with, but maybe this is something that we can get going in a bipartisan way and put in place mandatory sentencing for people who do assault our emergency services workers, police officers, ambulance officers, firies, nurses, doctors, teachers—the whole box and dice.
At the moment when you talk to people on the street they are concerned that there are no consequences for people’s action. We have to show them that there is consequences for people’s action. I think the best way to do that is to have a look at mandatory sentencing. That is what I will be talking to my side of politics about. It would be really great if members on the other side could start talking to their side about it as well.