Port Fairy & Terang Ambulance stations

Mr PURCELL (Western Victoria) (12:38:13) — My question is to Minister Mikakos, representing the Minister for Health. In 2016 the Andrews Labor government committed to build two new ambulance stations in Port Fairy and Terang. Both of these stations are quite old. They were built in the 1970s and are well past their use-by date, including having a number of occupational health and safety issues. Unfortunately some of the companies that were working on these stations are no longer in existence, and the community is quite concerned that the projects may not proceed because of the non-existence of these companies, so I ask the minister: when will work on these two ambulance stations begin?

Ms MIKAKOS (Minister for Families and Children) (12:39:09) — I thank the member for his question, and I thank him again for his continued advocacy for his electorate around their specific health needs. The member has referred to the issue of ambulance stations and our government's response to the issues of demand for ambulance services. I can advise him, before coming to the specifics of the matter that he has raised, that as a result of our government's record $500 million investment in more paramedics and more ambulances and in fact hiring 1000 more paramedics, we are seeing improved results, with the last quarter ambulance response times being the best ever: 83.8 per cent of code 1 call-outs have met the 15-minute benchmark, which is 38 seconds faster than last year in terms of those average code 1 response times. So we are seeing improved response times that are benefiting Mr Purcell's constituents and in fact people right across Victoria. That is critically important in terms of saving lives if we have those much quicker responses.

In terms of the matter that the member has raised around the Port Fairy and Terang ambulance station upgrades, as the member referred to in his question this was in fact an announcement that was made by our government. I can advise the member that the design of both stations is currently being reviewed and that construction of both of those ambulance stations is expected to begin in 2019. If there is anything further that the Minister for Health can add, I am sure she would be very happy to brief the member in relation to these matters, but the advice that I do have is that construction is expected to begin in 2019.

Written Response received 7 September 2018

Question asked by:       Mr Purcell

Directed to:                  Minister for Families and Children

Asked on:                    23 August 2018

RESPONSE:

The Port Fairy and Terang stations were funded as part of the $144 million provided by the government in the 2016-17 Budget to fund and improve ambulance services and response times.

The ambulance station capital program is being delivered by the Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority who are currently reviewing the designs and procurement for both stations to ensure that they are fit for purpose and fully align with building regulations and Ambulance Victoria requirements.

For both stations, construction is expected to begin in 2019. Operational dates will be determined as works approach completion and will be subject to Ambulance Victoria commissioning and roster processes.