EMERGENCY SERVICES WORKERS

Mr PEARSON (Essendon—Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Regulatory Reform, Minister for Government Services, Minister for Creative Industries) (11:14): I rise to update the house on the critical work that our government is doing in response to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System. This morning I joined the Premier, the Minister for Mental Health, the Parliamentary Secretary for Police and Emergency Services and Ms Sheena Watt from the other place to launch our $6 million centre of excellence for emergency services workers.

This is about providing better mental health support services for our emergency services workers and volunteers, including those who have retired. The centre will build a greater understanding of the unique mental health needs of our emergency services workers through evidence-based treatment and groundbreaking research. The centre will be led by the Victorian-based Phoenix Australia and it will be delivered in partnership with a specialist network of clinicians. It will support our police, our ambos, our firefighters, the SES and our life-saving call-takers.

I am reminded of the dedication of our police and emergency services workers every single day. This has been an incredibly challenging 12 months for all Victorians, and that has been no different for our police and emergency services workers. We know this service can take its toll. I want to thank you all on behalf of the government for the work you do each and every day keeping Victorians safe. Our government stands beside you and will continue to support you in any way that we can. We know our mental health system is broken, and too often our emergency services workers are the last line of defence—often sadly when it is too late. The Andrews Labor government is getting on with implementing each and every single one of the royal commission’s recommendations because that is what Victorians expect and that is what we will deliver.