Media Centre

FLU FUNDING BOOST TO TREAT MORE PATIENTS WITH $7.5 MILLION FOR NORTHERN HEALTH

The Andrews Labor Government is delivering a $115 million boost to give Victoria’s busy hospitals relief from a massive surge in demand following one of Victoria’s worst-ever flu seasons. Today, Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny and Member for Yuroke Ros Spence announced that local health services will share in a special funding support package, with an additional $7.5 million for Northern Health. This year’s flu season has resulted in sustained pressure on Victoria’s health system with more than 14,000 flu cases reported across Victoria so far. Over winter there has been a surge in people visiting emergency departments. In August alone, more than 3,900 people visited emergency departments each day – the largest ever for August on record. Hospitals right across the state have risen to the challenge, dedicating significant resources and staff to providing Victorians world class care this winter and flu season. This funding package will support local hospitals to ensure a record number of patients can get the care they need from emergency departments faster, for the remainder of the year. Northern Hospital in Epping is one local hospital that will benefit from this boost. Quicker hospital transfer times will also enable paramedics to get back on the road sooner and save more lives. People waiting for elective surgery will also benefit with more people than ever expected to receive surgery in 2017/18. This boost is another part of the Labor Government’s actions to manage the flu season and meet rising demand on the health system. While the peak is coming to an end, hospitals continue to urge patients with less severe illnesses to contact their GP, a pharmacist – including Victoria’s 24/7 Supercare Pharmacies - or NURSE-ON-CALL. The extra $115 million boost comes on top the record $1.67 billion provided in the Victorian Budget 2017/18 to support hospitals to meet demand and provide high quality, safer care to patients, no matter where they live.

FLU FUNDING BOOST TO TREAT MORE PATIENTS WITH $7.5 MILLION FOR NORTHERN HEALTH

The Andrews Labor Government is delivering a $115 million boost to give Victoria’s busy hospitals relief from a massive surge in demand following one of Victoria’s worst-ever flu seasons. Today, Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny and Member for Yuroke Ros Spence announced that local health services will share in a special funding support package, with an additional $7.5 million for Northern Health. This year’s flu season has resulted in sustained pressure on Victoria’s health system with more than 14,000 flu cases reported across Victoria so far. Over winter there has been a surge in people visiting emergency departments. In August alone, more than 3,900 people visited emergency departments each day – the largest ever for August on record. Hospitals right across the state have risen to the challenge, dedicating significant resources and staff to providing Victorians world class care this winter and flu season. This funding package will support local hospitals to ensure a record number of patients can get the care they need from emergency departments faster, for the remainder of the year. Northern Hospital in Epping is one local hospital that will benefit from this boost. Quicker hospital transfer times will also enable paramedics to get back on the road sooner and save more lives. People waiting for elective surgery will also benefit with more people than ever expected to receive surgery in 2017/18. This boost is another part of the Labor Government’s actions to manage the flu season and meet rising demand on the health system. While the peak is coming to an end, hospitals continue to urge patients with less severe illnesses to contact their GP, a pharmacist – including Victoria’s 24/7 Supercare Pharmacies - or NURSE-ON-CALL. The extra $115 million boost comes on top the record $1.67 billion provided in the Victorian Budget 2017/18 to support hospitals to meet demand and provide high quality, safer care to patients, no matter where they live.

VICTORIA’S TOP SUSTAINABILITY SCHOOLS NAMED

Congratulations to Epping Views Primary School and Rachel Zammit (St Monica's College Epping) for being named finalists in Victoria’s biggest sustainability awards for schools. The finalists have been announced by Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, ahead of the presentation ceremony in October. The ResourceSmart Schools Awards is celebrating its tenth anniversary and marking it with the announcement of the Leadership School of the Year and the School of the Decade awards. This year’s Awards focused on the theme ‘a decade of school wins for the environment’ and have inspired school communities to take sustainability and climate action, while providing learning opportunities for students. Sustainability Victoria received 150 entries from 87 schools including crowdfunding projects for the installation of solar panels, grey water ponds, garden beds, aquaponics ponds and beds, re-used tyre and sleeper walls and amphitheatre, permaculture area, compost system, orchard, swales and reptile enclosures. More than 1300 government and non-government schools have joined the ResourceSmart Schools program, receiving support to embed sustainability into all learning areas and levels of the Victorian Curriculum, with their progress and success measured by a star rating.

VICTORIA’S TOP SUSTAINABILITY SCHOOLS NAMED

Congratulations to Epping Views Primary School and Rachel Zammit (St Monica's College Epping) for being named finalists in Victoria’s biggest sustainability awards for schools. The finalists have been announced by Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, ahead of the presentation ceremony in October. The ResourceSmart Schools Awards is celebrating its tenth anniversary and marking it with the announcement of the Leadership School of the Year and the School of the Decade awards. This year’s Awards focused on the theme ‘a decade of school wins for the environment’ and have inspired school communities to take sustainability and climate action, while providing learning opportunities for students. Sustainability Victoria received 150 entries from 87 schools including crowdfunding projects for the installation of solar panels, grey water ponds, garden beds, aquaponics ponds and beds, re-used tyre and sleeper walls and amphitheatre, permaculture area, compost system, orchard, swales and reptile enclosures. More than 1300 government and non-government schools have joined the ResourceSmart Schools program, receiving support to embed sustainability into all learning areas and levels of the Victorian Curriculum, with their progress and success measured by a star rating.

GREEN LIGHT FOR IMPROVED SAFETY AT BUSY LALOR INTERSECTION

Drivers in Lalor can look forward to safer and less congested journeys, with the Andrews Labor Government today switching on new traffic lights at the intersection of Dalton Road and Childs Road. Member for Mill Park, Lily D’Ambrosio joined Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny today to announce the completion of works on the $5.5 million intersection upgrade. The upgrade replaces a congested roundabout and features dedicated turning lanes, new pedestrian crossings  and additional street lighting. Priority boxes have been installed to make the intersection safer for cyclists, giving them a head start on each green light and reducing conflict with general traffic. A raised platform will further improve safety by reducing the speed of vehicles as they approach and travel through the intersection. As well as making the intersection safer for cyclists and pedestrians, the upgrade will improve traffic flow on Dalton Road and Childs Road and reduce travel times, particularly during the busy morning and afternoon peak periods. More than 26,000 vehicles use the Dalton Road and Childs Road intersection every day with long queues at the roundabout often prompting some drivers to take unnecessary risks. In the past five years, there were 11 recorded crashes at the intersection, resulting in one serious injury. Quotes Attributable to Member for Mill Park, Lily D’Ambrosio: “By removing the roundabout and installing traffic lights and dedicated turning lanes, we’ve made this frustrating bottle neck safer and less congested.” “We’re listening to locals and getting on with improving the roads people rely on every day.” Quotes Attributable to Member for Thomastown, Bronwyn Halfpenny “This intersection has been a concern for the local community for many years and I’m proud to say the Andrews Labor Government has fixed it.” “This upgrade will unlock the bottleneck at the intersection of Dalton and Childs Roads, reducing the time people spend stuck in traffic.”  

GREEN LIGHT FOR IMPROVED SAFETY AT BUSY LALOR INTERSECTION

Drivers in Lalor can look forward to safer and less congested journeys, with the Andrews Labor Government today switching on new traffic lights at the intersection of Dalton Road and Childs Road. Member for Mill Park, Lily D’Ambrosio joined Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny today to announce the completion of works on the $5.5 million intersection upgrade. The upgrade replaces a congested roundabout and features dedicated turning lanes, new pedestrian crossings  and additional street lighting. Priority boxes have been installed to make the intersection safer for cyclists, giving them a head start on each green light and reducing conflict with general traffic. A raised platform will further improve safety by reducing the speed of vehicles as they approach and travel through the intersection. As well as making the intersection safer for cyclists and pedestrians, the upgrade will improve traffic flow on Dalton Road and Childs Road and reduce travel times, particularly during the busy morning and afternoon peak periods. More than 26,000 vehicles use the Dalton Road and Childs Road intersection every day with long queues at the roundabout often prompting some drivers to take unnecessary risks. In the past five years, there were 11 recorded crashes at the intersection, resulting in one serious injury. Quotes Attributable to Member for Mill Park, Lily D’Ambrosio: “By removing the roundabout and installing traffic lights and dedicated turning lanes, we’ve made this frustrating bottle neck safer and less congested.” “We’re listening to locals and getting on with improving the roads people rely on every day.” Quotes Attributable to Member for Thomastown, Bronwyn Halfpenny “This intersection has been a concern for the local community for many years and I’m proud to say the Andrews Labor Government has fixed it.” “This upgrade will unlock the bottleneck at the intersection of Dalton and Childs Roads, reducing the time people spend stuck in traffic.”  

WORK BEGINS ON NEW WHITTLESEA TECH SCHOOL

Students in Whittlesea are a step closer to having a high-tech learning centre on their doorstep after construction started today on the Whittlesea Tech School. The Whittlesea Tech School, which will be hosted by Melbourne Polytechnic at its Epping campus, has been designed by ClarkeHopkinsClarke architects and will open in mid-2018. It will be a shared learning hub available free of charge for students from 13 government and non-government schools in Whittlesea. With a focus on advanced manufacturing, scientific and technical services, healthcare and social assistance, entrepreneurial skills and food and fibre, the new Tech School will emphasis skills needed for careers in the 21st century. The Andrews Labor Government is investing $128 million to establish 10 Tech Schools across the state as part of the Education State reform agenda. Tech Schools are part of the Labor Government’s plan to boost performance in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects. Tech Schools use high-tech equipment, such as 3D printers, audio visual platforms, robotics and virtual reality, to deliver advanced education in STEM. With the turning of the sod at Whittlesea Tech School, each of the 10 state-of-the-art Tech Schools is now either operational or under construction. For more information about Tech Schools visit: http://techschools.education.vic.gov.au/ Quote attributable to  Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny “Tech Schools bring together schools, industry, local government, TAFE and universities to allow students to find real-life solutions to real-life problems using the latest technology” Quote attributable to Member for Mill Park Lily D’Ambrosio “This state-of-the-art Tech School will use leading edge technology to deliver the advanced education and training that students in Whittlesea need so they can flourish in the rapidly changing global economy.” Quote attributable to Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green “Students from 13 government and non-government schools in the Whittlesea area will have access to a high-tech learning centre from mid-2018 that will help them to be ready for the jobs of the 21st century.”  

WORK BEGINS ON NEW WHITTLESEA TECH SCHOOL

Students in Whittlesea are a step closer to having a high-tech learning centre on their doorstep after construction started today on the Whittlesea Tech School. The Whittlesea Tech School, which will be hosted by Melbourne Polytechnic at its Epping campus, has been designed by ClarkeHopkinsClarke architects and will open in mid-2018. It will be a shared learning hub available free of charge for students from 13 government and non-government schools in Whittlesea. With a focus on advanced manufacturing, scientific and technical services, healthcare and social assistance, entrepreneurial skills and food and fibre, the new Tech School will emphasis skills needed for careers in the 21st century. The Andrews Labor Government is investing $128 million to establish 10 Tech Schools across the state as part of the Education State reform agenda. Tech Schools are part of the Labor Government’s plan to boost performance in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects. Tech Schools use high-tech equipment, such as 3D printers, audio visual platforms, robotics and virtual reality, to deliver advanced education in STEM. With the turning of the sod at Whittlesea Tech School, each of the 10 state-of-the-art Tech Schools is now either operational or under construction. For more information about Tech Schools visit: http://techschools.education.vic.gov.au/ Quote attributable to  Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny “Tech Schools bring together schools, industry, local government, TAFE and universities to allow students to find real-life solutions to real-life problems using the latest technology” Quote attributable to Member for Mill Park Lily D’Ambrosio “This state-of-the-art Tech School will use leading edge technology to deliver the advanced education and training that students in Whittlesea need so they can flourish in the rapidly changing global economy.” Quote attributable to Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green “Students from 13 government and non-government schools in the Whittlesea area will have access to a high-tech learning centre from mid-2018 that will help them to be ready for the jobs of the 21st century.”  

 

GREENER BUILDINGS HELP NORTHERN HEALTH SAVE ON ENERGY

The Andrews Labor Government is boosting solar power supplies to drive down energy costs at Northern Hospital and regional health services across Victoria. Minister for Finance Robin Scott, Minister for Health Jill Hennessy, Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny and Member for Mill Park Lily D’Ambrosio today announced $5 million for Northern Health through the Greener Government Buildings program. This vital program – which funds energy efficient upgrades in government buildings – was reinstated by the Labor Government in August last year after it was slashed by the former Liberal Government. This year, $26 million will go to hospitals and health services to fund green projects on-site. These upgrades to Victorian hospitals are estimated to save more than $70 million over the life of the investments, and cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 20,000 tonnes each year. The Government will continue to analyse energy use to determine the hospitals with optimum specifications for solar panels. Health services identified will then be eligible for loans to install solar panels. They will also have the opportunity to bulk buy solar panels through Health Purchasing Victoria to maximise benefits delivered through the initiative. The Greener Governments Buildings program further supports the growth of clean energy and technology industries – creating jobs and strengthening Victoria’s position as the centre of excellence for energy efficiency. Please find the full media release here.

GREENER BUILDINGS HELP NORTHERN HEALTH SAVE ON ENERGY

The Andrews Labor Government is boosting solar power supplies to drive down energy costs at Northern Hospital and regional health services across Victoria. Minister for Finance Robin Scott, Minister for Health Jill Hennessy, Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny and Member for Mill Park Lily D’Ambrosio today announced $5 million for Northern Health through the Greener Government Buildings program. This vital program – which funds energy efficient upgrades in government buildings – was reinstated by the Labor Government in August last year after it was slashed by the former Liberal Government. This year, $26 million will go to hospitals and health services to fund green projects on-site. These upgrades to Victorian hospitals are estimated to save more than $70 million over the life of the investments, and cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 20,000 tonnes each year. The Government will continue to analyse energy use to determine the hospitals with optimum specifications for solar panels. Health services identified will then be eligible for loans to install solar panels. They will also have the opportunity to bulk buy solar panels through Health Purchasing Victoria to maximise benefits delivered through the initiative. The Greener Governments Buildings program further supports the growth of clean energy and technology industries – creating jobs and strengthening Victoria’s position as the centre of excellence for energy efficiency. Please find the full media release here.

ANOTHER 80 POLICE AND PSOs JOIN THE FRONTLINE

The Andrews Labor Government’s record community safety investment continues at full speed, with another 80 police and Protective Services Officers (PSOs) graduating on 1 September 2017. The Police Academy is operating at full capacity – and this will continue for the next few years –  as record numbers of new recruits are being trained, due to record funding from the Labor Government to get more police out on the beat. The latest graduates reflect the diversity of the Victorian community with 11 born overseas, including China, Russia, Bangladesh, New Zealand, the UK, England, France, South Africa and Papua New Guinea. The Government is delivering on its commitment to train and deploy 3135 new police officers over five years. A total of 2,729 new recruits were funded as part of the Government’s record $2 billion investment in Victoria Police, while 406 new police were included in the Victorian Budget 2016/17. The first 300 of the new police officers are now rolling out to Victoria’s booming growth areas. Please find the full media release here.

ANOTHER 80 POLICE AND PSOs JOIN THE FRONTLINE

The Andrews Labor Government’s record community safety investment continues at full speed, with another 80 police and Protective Services Officers (PSOs) graduating on 1 September 2017. The Police Academy is operating at full capacity – and this will continue for the next few years –  as record numbers of new recruits are being trained, due to record funding from the Labor Government to get more police out on the beat. The latest graduates reflect the diversity of the Victorian community with 11 born overseas, including China, Russia, Bangladesh, New Zealand, the UK, England, France, South Africa and Papua New Guinea. The Government is delivering on its commitment to train and deploy 3135 new police officers over five years. A total of 2,729 new recruits were funded as part of the Government’s record $2 billion investment in Victoria Police, while 406 new police were included in the Victorian Budget 2016/17. The first 300 of the new police officers are now rolling out to Victoria’s booming growth areas. Please find the full media release here.

CONSTITUENCY QUESTIONS – SCHOOLCHILDREN WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES

Ms HALFPENNY (Thomastown) — (Question Number 12 529 on 2/5/17) Ms Halfpenny to ask the Minister for Education - My question is to the Minister for Education. A number of parents with children living with type 1 diabetes are very frustrated and upset that their children are struggling to fully participate in school activities. These parents have experienced a lack of care in some schools. Could the minister please provide information about how these concerns are being addressed? ANSWER (5/6/17) – Minister for Education I am informed as follows: The Department of Education and Training's policy on managing Diabetes Mellitus in schools was updated in 2016. It states that Victorian Government schools have a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments for students with diabetes to enable them to participate in their education on the same basis as their peers. This policy specifies a number of measures schools should take to achieve this, including developing individual student support plans, undertaking staff training and implementing strategies to enable participation in physical activity and school activities such as excursion and camps. In 2016 the Department funded Diabetes Victoria $100,000 to create the ‘Mastering Diabetes' resources for Victorian preschools, schools and families. The Department is now working to better understand student's, family's and school's experience of managing Diabetes, which will inform further action to improve Diabetes management in schools. In parallel, the Department has commenced work on the development of new practical guidelines to further support schools to implement the Department's Diabetes Mellitus policy. THE HON JAMES MERLINO MP Minister for Education

CONSTITUENCY QUESTIONS – SCHOOLCHILDREN WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES

Ms HALFPENNY (Thomastown) — (Question Number 12 529 on 2/5/17) Ms Halfpenny to ask the Minister for Education - My question is to the Minister for Education. A number of parents with children living with type 1 diabetes are very frustrated and upset that their children are struggling to fully participate in school activities. These parents have experienced a lack of care in some schools. Could the minister please provide information about how these concerns are being addressed? ANSWER (5/6/17) – Minister for Education I am informed as follows: The Department of Education and Training's policy on managing Diabetes Mellitus in schools was updated in 2016. It states that Victorian Government schools have a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments for students with diabetes to enable them to participate in their education on the same basis as their peers. This policy specifies a number of measures schools should take to achieve this, including developing individual student support plans, undertaking staff training and implementing strategies to enable participation in physical activity and school activities such as excursion and camps. In 2016 the Department funded Diabetes Victoria $100,000 to create the ‘Mastering Diabetes' resources for Victorian preschools, schools and families. The Department is now working to better understand student's, family's and school's experience of managing Diabetes, which will inform further action to improve Diabetes management in schools. In parallel, the Department has commenced work on the development of new practical guidelines to further support schools to implement the Department's Diabetes Mellitus policy. THE HON JAMES MERLINO MP Minister for Education

MERNDA RAIL EXTENSION JOBS HUB OPEN FOR JOBSEEKERS

The Andrews Labor Government is helping jobseekers find opportunities on major Victorian projects with the launch of a dedicated Jobs Hub for the Mernda Rail Extension. The Jobs Hub is located at 323 McDonalds Road, Epping and is open from 9-5pm Monday to Friday and by appointment on Saturdays.   The Mernda Rail Extension is set to create around 1,200 direct jobs, including 600 during construction and 1,800 indirect jobs in local businesses and industries supporting the project. Three new stations will be built at Marymeade, Hawkstowe and Mernda and 8km of new duplicated track between South Morang and Mernda, one of the states fastest growing areas. The first trains will run to Mernda in 2019. The Jobs Hub will help jobseekers from all backgrounds find meaningful employment. The Hub offers face to face support with trained staff, assistance with job applications and resume writing, training opportunities and will help connect jobseekers to employers and suitable roles. A number of different positions will be available from engineering and construction to administration and catering. The Mernda project team will stimulate the local economy by purchasing local goods and services from local suppliers.

MERNDA RAIL EXTENSION JOBS HUB OPEN FOR JOBSEEKERS

The Andrews Labor Government is helping jobseekers find opportunities on major Victorian projects with the launch of a dedicated Jobs Hub for the Mernda Rail Extension. The Jobs Hub is located at 323 McDonalds Road, Epping and is open from 9-5pm Monday to Friday and by appointment on Saturdays.   The Mernda Rail Extension is set to create around 1,200 direct jobs, including 600 during construction and 1,800 indirect jobs in local businesses and industries supporting the project. Three new stations will be built at Marymeade, Hawkstowe and Mernda and 8km of new duplicated track between South Morang and Mernda, one of the states fastest growing areas. The first trains will run to Mernda in 2019. The Jobs Hub will help jobseekers from all backgrounds find meaningful employment. The Hub offers face to face support with trained staff, assistance with job applications and resume writing, training opportunities and will help connect jobseekers to employers and suitable roles. A number of different positions will be available from engineering and construction to administration and catering. The Mernda project team will stimulate the local economy by purchasing local goods and services from local suppliers.