Andrews’ staff cuts to blame for triple-zero crisis

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Daniel Andrews must today accept responsibility for the triple-zero emergency health crisis that is costing Victorian lives and holding our community back.  

Speaking today, the Premier attempted to blame the pandemic for triple-zero wait times that are seeing people in need waiting 10 to 15 minutes on hold just to speak with an emergency call taker.  

However, recent data has confirmed that the Andrews Labor Government cut the number of full-time equivalent fire, police and ambulance call takers in the 12 months to June 2021.

RoleFTE FY20FTE FY21FTE ChangePercentage Change
Police Call Taker134.50129.9-4.6-3.42%
Fire Call Taker29.9025.8-4.1-13.71%
Ambulance Call Taker120.60118.3-2.3-1.91%

Furthermore, during the same period calls to triple-zero increased by around 15 per cent.

This means that across the first year of the COVID pandemic, fewer triple-zero staff were available to take an increasing number of calls.

Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Brad Battin said Labor’s failure to properly resource and manage triple-zero was costing Victorian lives.

“Daniel Andrews cut triple-zero call takers during the first year of COVID. This inexcusable act has cost Victorian lives.

“Victorians were locked down to prepare our healthcare system for COVID, but how is cutting emergency call takers preparing the system?

“More Labor spin and deflection won’t get emergency calls answered on time.

“Only a change of government will fix triple-zero and end Labor’s healthcare crisis, so families and local communities can recover and rebuild in confidence.”

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