Mr. Graham Ashton’s Capability and Service Review of ESTA has been published with 20 recommendations for the service. The union is supportive of the review, in particular the recommendations that the ESTA Board and Advisory Committee be disbanded and replaced, and that the Victorian Government allocate ongoing funding to ESTA to employ sufficient staff. The union is disappointed that recommendations regarding IGEM standards are not more robust in aiming to reach a higher KPI standard than 90% of calls answered in 5 seconds and 95% of calls answered in 30 seconds.
The State Government response that it supports the reports recommendations in principle and expressed that “ESTA needs to be brought into government with the form and structure to be agreed as part of the reforms progressed in 2023.” The Government has committed to begin working with the ESTA board, emergency services organisations, unions and stakeholders through the ESTA Capability and Service Taskforces to effect the transition of ESTA into DJCS.
The AEAV believes that it is critical that the government work with unions and their members when enacting the recommendations and allocating the 333 million dollar funding it has announced.
Without ESTA employees at all discussions the service will be at risk of repeating mistakes of the past. Those that don’t learn from the past are bound to repeat it.