Sarah Courtney,Minister for Health
I reiterate my sincere thank you to every one of our hard-working paramedics for their incredible work caring for and supporting Tasmanians.
I am advised that, following an audit, Ambulance Tasmania became aware there has been an historical misinterpretation relating to travel allowance payments which did not comply with the Award.
The advice of the State Service Management Office is that because there was no legal basis upon which to make the payments in the first place, mistaken payments will need to be recovered.
Ambulance Tasmania has a legal obligation, as a Government agency, to ensure all payments comply with Award conditions.
Payments made and received, due to an interpretation of the Award applied in good faith, will be closely considered, and we are negotiating closely with HACSU on this matter and I am advised that it is nearing resolution.
I have been absolutely assured that there are hardship provisions for these issues, to ensure individuals are not in any way disadvantaged.
I have also sought assurance that Ambulance Tasmania continues to pay paramedics in accordance with the relevant Award, which includes allowances for travel in various circumstances, and have had it confirmed that there has been no changes to this award.
The Secretary of Department has assured me she is continuing to work constructively with HACSU to resolve this matter, and support our workforce into the future.