Today’s scathing report on bullying and harassment in NSW Emergency Services shows how those we most trust to protect us are being badly let down by a system that fails to address the damage caused by bullying and harassment.

The Emergency Services sector desperately needs is a genuinely independent body that workers can go to when their bullying and harassment complaints are not addressed internally.

It’s time now to do more than say sorry to Paramedics, Firefighters, Police and SES crews, it’s time to deliver a truly independent body to address bullying and harassment

Greens MP and Industrial Relations Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“This report highlights how we have badly let down those who we trust most to help us.

“While the problems in the Ambulance Service are perhaps most extreme, every emergency service has an unacceptable and endemic problem with bullying and harassment.

“The damage that poor management and systemic bullying has done to emergency service workers is little short of criminal.

“It is essential the recommendations from this report are urgently implemented so that emergency service workers can go to work feeling safe and supported, and have trust in their own management.

“We saw case, after case, after case where internal complaints on bullying were ignored, downplayed or else turned on the victim. This can’t be allowed to continue.

“When management and entrenched power structures are part of the bullying problem there needs to be an independent body for emergency service workers to go to.

“There seems little doubt that the isolation and small size of many ambulance stations leaves junior paramedics and staff especially vulnerable to bullying and harassment.

“One way to address the vulnerability and isolation of paramedics is to deliver far greater integration between NSW Health and the Ambulance service so paramedics are in larger, more supportive structures.

“We have seen report after report on bullying highlight problems but fail to deliver the structural reform that’s needed.

“We need to do more than just say sorry, it’s time to deliver a truly independent body to address bullying and harassment.” Mr Shoebridge said.