The Andrews Labor Government will boost ambulance resources on the Bellarine Peninsula, giving paramedics the facilities and support they need to quickly respond to local emergencies.

The Bellarine Peninsula will receive a new peak period unit staffed by seven full time equivalent paramedics and a new ambulance vehicle.

The announcement is part of a record $500 million investment over five years to employ 450 more paramedics, buy new vehicles and build new branches across the state. This is the largest ever funding boost for Victoria’s ambulance services in a bold new plan to improve ambulance response times.

To house these additional resources, we will build a new state-of-the-art branch in Swan Bay giving paramedics modern and safer facilities they deserve and room to grow.

The new purpose-built station will feature a drive in-and-out garage bay for vehicles, rest and recline areas, training rooms, bedrooms, modern amenities and fully-fitted out kitchen.

This will make a huge difference to ambulance response times on the Bellarine Peninsula, particularly for the communities of St Leonards, Indented Heads and Queenscliff.

Since coming to Government, the Labor Government has been working hard every day to rebuild our ambulance system after four years of crisis and neglect under the Liberals.

Now, after two years of investing in and reforming our ambulance system, more ambulances are arriving at emergencies sooner with Code 1 average response times the quickest they have been in five years.

Ambulances are now arriving at 76.6 per cent of Code 1 incidents within 15 minutes, compared to a record low of 73 per cent at the height of the Liberal’s ambulance crisis.

In order to continue to improve local response times, our new $500 million package includes:

• Funding for a new 24-hour team to be located at the Geelong Branch, with 14 full-time equivalent paramedics and a new ambulance vehicle.

• An investment of over $3 million to open more beds at Barwon Health to treat more emergency department patients, sooner and free up ambulances to get back on the road.

This funding is in on top of the $144 million provided in the Victorian Budget 2016/17, which included the $60 million Response Time Rescue Fund to improve ambulance response times.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy

“We’re putting people first, with the biggest ever investment in Victoria’s history to cut ambulance response times even further and save more lives.”

“Response times are the best they have been in five years, but there’s still more work to do. Now we have the system working better, it’s time to invest in new branches and paramedics on the road.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville

“We’re putting people on the Bellarine Peninsula first and giving paramedics the support they deserve and need to do what they do best, which is saving lives.”

“In a medical emergency every second saves lives. That’s why we’re ensuring people on the Bellarine Peninsula get the right emergency care, quickly, when they need it.”

“We’re investing in more paramedics and opening new beds so we can get people on the Bellarine Peninsula the emergency care and treatment they need, sooner.”