Coalition announces major boost to ambulance services in Wedderburn

A re-elected Napthine Government will invest $1.3 million to establish an ambulance presence in Wedderburn, Liberal candidate for Ripon Louise Staley announced today.

  • Specialist paramedic to be based in Wedderburn
  • Support for Wedderburn’s valued CERT volunteers
  • Napthine Government is building a healthier Victoria

“Wedderburn has been serviced for the past nine years by a dedicated and highly trained volunteer Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) whose members have acted as first responders attending to people in the local community in urgent need of emergency medical care,” Ms Staley said.

“The commitment by the volunteers has been exemplary and I express my sincere appreciation for the dedication they have shown to their community.”

Ms Staley said that a Paramedic Community Support Coordinator would now be located in the Wedderburn area for the first time.

“This specialist paramedic will not only respond to emergency cases but will be involved in community based activities to help meet local health needs and develop partnerships with other health care providers,” Ms Staley said.

“I have worked hard on behalf of residents to bring professional paramedic support to the local community.”

Nationals candidate for Ripon Scott Turner said that today’s announcement recognises the Coalition Government’s commitment to investing in the health and wellbeing of our rural communities.

“This announcement is a win for the Wedderburn community as the CERT callout rate is one of the highest in Victoria,” Mr Turner said.

“Our CERT volunteers will provide ongoing support to the new paramedic who will also be ably backed up by the paramedics from Inglewood or Charlton in times of high need.”

Ms Staley said that the Coalition Government also commits to a clear role for Ambulance Community Officers whose training could be undertaken by the Paramedic Community Support Coordinator.

Ms Staley said that there will be discussions between Ambulance Victoria, Loddon Shire Council and the local GP to establish the most appropriate location to house the new paramedic. Clinical advice from Ambulance Victoria will be important in this regard.

This announcement coincides with the Coalition Government’s commitment of a further significant expansion to ambulance services across Victoria.

Minister for Health David Davis said that over the last four years the Coalition Government has massively expanded ambulance resources across the Loddon Mallee region.

“This includes the addition of more than 70 full-time paramedics, the construction of a new station at Mildura, the provision of new MICA SRU’s at Swan Hill and Mildura, upgrading the Maryborough, Castlemaine, Woodend, Romsey, Kyneton and Kyabram branches to 24-hour services, and introducing two non-emergency patient transport crews to Bendigo,” Mr Davis said.

“These investments further strengthen the Napthine Government’s track record of major improvements to Victoria’s ambulance services which has already seen the provision of record funding.”

“The Coalition Government has increased the number of paramedics on the road by 679 across the state, since coming to office. The ambulance budget has also increased by 23 per cent, to $696.5 million in 2014-15.

If re-elected, Victorian paramedics will also be the first in the country to be registered under a new professional accreditation scheme proposed by the Coalition Government, Mr Davis said.