The ACT has appointed its first female Commissioner to lead the ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) with Georgeina Whelan taking on the role.
“It is such a privilege to have been appointed to this role and the opportunity to continue to build upon the great work of the previous leadership,” Commissioner Whelan said.
ACT Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Mick Gentleman, said Commissioner Whelan spent almost two years in the role of Chief Officer of the ACT State Emergency Service (ACTSES). Prior to her time with the ESA, Commissioner Whelan led various front-line teams and international disaster management operations, including the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in Banda Aceh.
Commissioner Whelan’s appointment is for a five-year term to August 2024. She takes on the role vacated by Dominic Lane.
Orr joins ACT Ministry
Following a nomination process, the ACT Labor caucus has supported Yerrabi MLA Suzanne Orr to fill the vacant ministry position in the ACT Cabinet.
Ms Orr, who joined the ACT Labor team at the 2016 election, will have responsibility for four portfolios: Disability; Community Services and Facilities; Employment and Workplace Safety; and Government Services and Procurement.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced the portfolio reshuffle on Monday 26 August. It will also see Labor MLA for Ginninderra Tara Cheyne support Mr Barr in a non-executive role as the Special Secretary to the Chief Minister.
Clearer petrol price boards
Misleading fuel price boards are now banned in the ACT with new laws coming into force on Monday 26 August.
Recent amendments to the Fair Trading (Fuel Prices) Act 1993 (ACT) mean that it is now an offence for service stations to display a discounted fuel price on a price board.
Service stations who do not comply with the new law could be faced with penalties of up to $16,200 (for a body corporate).
To check compliance with new fuel price board requirements and increase consumer confidence, Access Canberra will undertake proactive checks at service stations across the ACT.
If Canberrans notice any discrepancies between an advertised price on a fuel board and the price at the pump, they can report it to Access Canberra on 13 22 81.
Be alert for hepatitis A
The ACT Health Directorate is currently working with NSW Health to investigate a cluster of cases of hepatitis A in the South Korean community.
A media release issued on 21 August said eight cases in adults of South Korean heritage have been affected here in the ACT and in Sydney since June. Most of these cases have not reported recent overseas travel.
The ACT Health Directorate is reminding the South Korean community and anyone travelling to South Korea, of the importance of vaccination prior to travel and practising good hand hygiene to reduce the risk of spread.
Hepatitis A is caused by a virus that spreads in contaminated food or through poor hygiene. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, fever and yellowing of the skin, dark urine and pale stools.
NSW Health and the ACT Health Directorate will keep local communities updated if further public health advice is required.