WHITTLESEA COMMUNITY HOSPITAL – Adjournment

Ms Green (Yan Yean) (19:15:30): (508) My adjournment matter tonight is for the Minister for Health in the other place—a magnificent health minister—and the action I seek is for her to provide a detailed update on the Whittlesea community hospital consultative committee now that the expressions of interest stage has closed. I am delighted to be part of a government that is investing in the health services that our community needs, particularly in Melbourne’s north. I know that the member for Yuroke, the member for Sunbury and the member for Eltham are all delighted that there are four new community hospitals being built in Melbourne’s north—in Craigieburn, Sunbury, Eltham district and Whittlesea. Sixty applications were received from community members seeking to be involved in the consultative committee for the Whittlesea community hospital, and I will be delighted to work with the final membership of that committee. It is a bit of a shame that unfortunately the investment that we are making in our hospitals is not being matched by Canberra; in fact it is being undermined. Locally Canberra has cut over $13 million from the Northern Health budget. That is the equivalent of over 25 500 dialysis sessions, 11 815 chemotherapy treatments or 794 hip replacements. Canberra should be in no doubt that we on this side of the house do not see this as appropriate. It is not good enough. That is why we have launched a campaign for our fair share of funding from the commonwealth, no matter who wins the next federal election. The planned services at the Whittlesea community hospital show how much the Andrews Labor government does care about health. We want to service both the growing community in the north but also the established communities, particularly those communities that are still struggling with physical and mental health burdens post the Black Saturday fires, some 10 years on. I recently had a meeting with the Health and Community Services Union, last week. They are great people, including Paul Healey, who like me grew up in Warrnambool—we actually discovered we had done year 12 together and had only just recalled that. They certainly said to me how important this community hospital was for the mental health workforce and for the communities of the north. They look forward to working with me and with the government. I look forward to hearing what the minister has got to say about— (Time expired)