The second meeting of the Occupational Safety Working Group, which includes United Voice and QAS, will be held next Tuesday. Violence against paramedics will be front and centre of the discussions.
The group is a welcome initiative which will be addressing key occupational health and safety issues. However, we also believe the task force we called for over the weekend is absolutely vital to bringing all the relevant players to the table to coordinate a strategic response to tackling violence against paramedics.
We’ve made our position pretty clear to the Minister this week, and we’ll continue to do so.
Meanwhile, the state-wide outpouring of anger has continued after United Voice member Brad Johnson’s attack last Friday night.
We’ve spoken with Kyla Gold, another United Voice member and the organiser of the ‘Triple Zero Tolerance’ event planned outside the Southport Magistrates Court on Thursday 21 January at 8am.
We’ve also spoken with Brad and feel it’s important to highlight his hesitation about being the focal point of the campaign. He is very supportive of moves to improve safety measures for paramedics and sees the value of the event on 21 January, but would prefer that public campaigning not focus primarily on him or his attacker, for whom he feels a degree of compassion.
As her union, we have offered Kyla our support for her event. You can RSVP on Kyla’s Facebook group here.
For now, we believe we should focus our collective energy on ensuring the success of this peaceful event by not organising other events prior.
We’ll be asking Minister for Ambulance Services Cameron Dick to provide us with a firm outline of his plans for tackling violence against paramedics by 21 January. If we don’t receive it, we’ll be ramping up our actions and campaigning around the issue after that date.