Media Centre

NORTHERN HEALTH FUNDING SLASHED UNDER TURNBULL’S HEALTH CUTS

Northern patients are missing out under the Federal Liberal Government’s health cuts. Northern Health stands to lose over $4 million dollars in next year’s funding because the Federal Liberal Government is refusing to pay more than $100 million it owes to Victorians. Despite conceding late last year that Victoria was owed the money, Malcolm Turnbull has failed to reimburse the Victorian Government for treating tens of thousands of extra patients, putting the future funding of our local hospital at risk. Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny said the $4.193 million dollars owed was the equivalent of 26 more nurses for the Northern Hospital. These cuts are creating uncertainty for hospitals trying to plan for future patient demand, and the Andrews Labor Government has had to step in and top up funding while waiting for reimbursement. But even though the National Health Funding Pool Administrator – an independent expert – has provided advice that Victoria is owed this money, Malcolm Turnbull has refused to pay up, putting at risk the treatment of thousands of extra Victorian patients. The $104 million owed to Victoria is equivalent to: 100,222 more chemotherapy procedures for Victoria’s cancer patients 212,964 extra dialysis sessions for sick patients More than 650 extra nurses 54,104 colonoscopies. This delay comes after ongoing attempts by Malcolm Turnbull to claw back health funding from the pockets of Victorians, and is in addition to over $1.5 billion in cuts to our hospitals in the Federal Budget’s forward estimates. This is yet another example of the Prime Minister for Sydney – Malcolm Turnbull – again dudding Victorians. Despite being home to more than 25 per cent of the nation’s population, Victoria continues to receive just 10 per cent of federal infrastructure funding. In contrast, Malcolm Turnbull’s home state of New South Wales receives a whopping 45 per cent. Victorians deserve better than that. Quotes attributable to Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny “I am devastated that the Federal Liberal Government will be cutting millions of dollars from the Northern Hospital. This is at a time when our hospital needs more resources to support our rapidly growing population.” “What has Malcolm Turnbull got against residents in Melbourne's north? He had to be dragged kicking and screaming to give federal approval to the O'Herns Road project. I can't think of any other announcements he has made to spend any other dollars here, and now he is cutting money to our hospital.” “This callous action undermines the hundreds of millions of dollars the state Labor government has committed to building new wards and theatres at the hospital. Thanks to Malcolm Turnbull we can expect even longer waits in emergency, sitting on waiting lists and cuts to vital patient services.”

NORTHERN HEALTH FUNDING SLASHED UNDER TURNBULL’S HEALTH CUTS

Northern patients are missing out under the Federal Liberal Government’s health cuts. Northern Health stands to lose over $4 million dollars in next year’s funding because the Federal Liberal Government is refusing to pay more than $100 million it owes to Victorians. Despite conceding late last year that Victoria was owed the money, Malcolm Turnbull has failed to reimburse the Victorian Government for treating tens of thousands of extra patients, putting the future funding of our local hospital at risk. Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny said the $4.193 million dollars owed was the equivalent of 26 more nurses for the Northern Hospital. These cuts are creating uncertainty for hospitals trying to plan for future patient demand, and the Andrews Labor Government has had to step in and top up funding while waiting for reimbursement. But even though the National Health Funding Pool Administrator – an independent expert – has provided advice that Victoria is owed this money, Malcolm Turnbull has refused to pay up, putting at risk the treatment of thousands of extra Victorian patients. The $104 million owed to Victoria is equivalent to: 100,222 more chemotherapy procedures for Victoria’s cancer patients 212,964 extra dialysis sessions for sick patients More than 650 extra nurses 54,104 colonoscopies. This delay comes after ongoing attempts by Malcolm Turnbull to claw back health funding from the pockets of Victorians, and is in addition to over $1.5 billion in cuts to our hospitals in the Federal Budget’s forward estimates. This is yet another example of the Prime Minister for Sydney – Malcolm Turnbull – again dudding Victorians. Despite being home to more than 25 per cent of the nation’s population, Victoria continues to receive just 10 per cent of federal infrastructure funding. In contrast, Malcolm Turnbull’s home state of New South Wales receives a whopping 45 per cent. Victorians deserve better than that. Quotes attributable to Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny “I am devastated that the Federal Liberal Government will be cutting millions of dollars from the Northern Hospital. This is at a time when our hospital needs more resources to support our rapidly growing population.” “What has Malcolm Turnbull got against residents in Melbourne's north? He had to be dragged kicking and screaming to give federal approval to the O'Herns Road project. I can't think of any other announcements he has made to spend any other dollars here, and now he is cutting money to our hospital.” “This callous action undermines the hundreds of millions of dollars the state Labor government has committed to building new wards and theatres at the hospital. Thanks to Malcolm Turnbull we can expect even longer waits in emergency, sitting on waiting lists and cuts to vital patient services.”

VICTORIAN PARENTS REMINDED TO UPDATE KIDS’ JABS

Victorian parents returning from summer holidays are being urged to ensure their children are fully immunised before returning to childcare and school. Visiting Strathmore Children’s Centre today, Minister for Health and Acting Minister for Families and Children Jill Hennessy reminded parents of the Andrews Labor Government’s tough No Jab, No Play law. The law requires all children enrolling in early childhood and care services to be up to date with their immunisations, unless they have an approved exemption. Since introducing the law, Victoria has achieved its best ever immunisation coverage, with 94.9 per cent of Victorian children aged five now fully immunised – the second highest coverage rate in Australia. Before No Jab, No Play, the coverage was just 92.5 per cent. Thanks to the law and efforts by parents, Victoria has almost reached the 95 per cent ‘herd immunity’ target, which is necessary to halt the spread of dangerous and virulent diseases such as measles. That is why the Labor Government is further strengthening the No Jab, No Play law to crack down on rogue practitioners who make false statements about a child’s ability to be immunised. Under the changes, only Immunisation History Statements from the Australian Immunisation Register will be accepted when enrolling in childcare or kindergarten. Documents produced by GPs or other immunisation providers will no longer be accepted as proof of immunisation for enrolment. And by having only one form of evidence accepted, the process of enrolling will be much simpler for both parents and early childhood services. To receive reminders of when your child’s immunisation status is due, download the VaxOnTime app from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/VaxOnTime.

VICTORIAN PARENTS REMINDED TO UPDATE KIDS’ JABS

Victorian parents returning from summer holidays are being urged to ensure their children are fully immunised before returning to childcare and school. Visiting Strathmore Children’s Centre today, Minister for Health and Acting Minister for Families and Children Jill Hennessy reminded parents of the Andrews Labor Government’s tough No Jab, No Play law. The law requires all children enrolling in early childhood and care services to be up to date with their immunisations, unless they have an approved exemption. Since introducing the law, Victoria has achieved its best ever immunisation coverage, with 94.9 per cent of Victorian children aged five now fully immunised – the second highest coverage rate in Australia. Before No Jab, No Play, the coverage was just 92.5 per cent. Thanks to the law and efforts by parents, Victoria has almost reached the 95 per cent ‘herd immunity’ target, which is necessary to halt the spread of dangerous and virulent diseases such as measles. That is why the Labor Government is further strengthening the No Jab, No Play law to crack down on rogue practitioners who make false statements about a child’s ability to be immunised. Under the changes, only Immunisation History Statements from the Australian Immunisation Register will be accepted when enrolling in childcare or kindergarten. Documents produced by GPs or other immunisation providers will no longer be accepted as proof of immunisation for enrolment. And by having only one form of evidence accepted, the process of enrolling will be much simpler for both parents and early childhood services. To receive reminders of when your child’s immunisation status is due, download the VaxOnTime app from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/VaxOnTime.

HOTSPOTS REVEALED AS KIDS IN CARS CAMPAIGN KICKS OFF

Local parents are being warned not to leave their children in cars this summer as new statistics reveal the top postcodes for ambulance call outs to help kids stuck in vehicles. Concerning new data shows Ambulance Victoria responded to 1,696 callouts across Victoria in the year to August, with the vast majority being cases involving toddlers and babies. This included 19 callouts to the Epping area and 9 callouts to Lalor. A new Andrews Labor Government campaign, which features AFL legend Matthew Richardson, aims to make people aware of the potential dangers and will see advertisements run on television, radio and social media. Mr Richardson, who became a dad to baby Zoey in September, joined Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos at Northland Shopping Centre in Preston to officially launch the campaign. The Andrews Labor Government is working with Kidsafe and Ambulance Victoria to increase awareness and remind parents just how easy it is to underestimate the time it can take to run a quick errand. On average, four kids a day are being put at risk of serious heat-related injury or death by being left unattended in parked cars. A car's temperature can more than double within minutes, meaning on a typical summer day the temperature inside a parked car can quickly become 20-30 degrees hotter than outside. Kids' body temperatures rise three to five times faster than an adult's, meaning they are at greater risk of life-threatening heatstroke, dehydration and organ damage when left in the car. The Labor Government's Never Leave Kids in Cars campaign includes radio and online advertising, as well as billboards around shopping centres and social media messages. In Victoria, it is against the law to leave children unattended, with offenders facing fines of up to $3900 or jail for six months, or both. Find out more about surviving the heat this summer: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/heat.

HOTSPOTS REVEALED AS KIDS IN CARS CAMPAIGN KICKS OFF

Local parents are being warned not to leave their children in cars this summer as new statistics reveal the top postcodes for ambulance call outs to help kids stuck in vehicles. Concerning new data shows Ambulance Victoria responded to 1,696 callouts across Victoria in the year to August, with the vast majority being cases involving toddlers and babies. This included 19 callouts to the Epping area and 9 callouts to Lalor. A new Andrews Labor Government campaign, which features AFL legend Matthew Richardson, aims to make people aware of the potential dangers and will see advertisements run on television, radio and social media. Mr Richardson, who became a dad to baby Zoey in September, joined Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos at Northland Shopping Centre in Preston to officially launch the campaign. The Andrews Labor Government is working with Kidsafe and Ambulance Victoria to increase awareness and remind parents just how easy it is to underestimate the time it can take to run a quick errand. On average, four kids a day are being put at risk of serious heat-related injury or death by being left unattended in parked cars. A car's temperature can more than double within minutes, meaning on a typical summer day the temperature inside a parked car can quickly become 20-30 degrees hotter than outside. Kids' body temperatures rise three to five times faster than an adult's, meaning they are at greater risk of life-threatening heatstroke, dehydration and organ damage when left in the car. The Labor Government's Never Leave Kids in Cars campaign includes radio and online advertising, as well as billboards around shopping centres and social media messages. In Victoria, it is against the law to leave children unattended, with offenders facing fines of up to $3900 or jail for six months, or both. Find out more about surviving the heat this summer: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/heat.

GETTING IT DONE: MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR VICTORIA’S LIBRARIES

The Andrews Labor Government is backing local libraries, with another $4.5 million in grants to help them flourish. Whittlesea City Council has received a $559,493 Living Libraries Infrastructure Program (LLIP) grant for a Mill Park library refurbishment. The 2017 LLIP will enable 13 councils across Melbourne and regional Victoria to improve their facilities and services. For more information visit localgovernment.vic.gov.au/public-libraries.

GETTING IT DONE: MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR VICTORIA’S LIBRARIES

The Andrews Labor Government is backing local libraries, with another $4.5 million in grants to help them flourish. Whittlesea City Council has received a $559,493 Living Libraries Infrastructure Program (LLIP) grant for a Mill Park library refurbishment. The 2017 LLIP will enable 13 councils across Melbourne and regional Victoria to improve their facilities and services. For more information visit localgovernment.vic.gov.au/public-libraries.

 

BERTOCCHI EXPANSION TO CREATE MORE THAN 700 LOCAL JOBS

The Andrews Labor Government is backing a major expansion of Bertocchi Smallgoods that will create more than 700 new jobs in Victoria. Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll visited Bertocchi's Thomastown factory today to announce support for its $46.7 million expansion to increase sales and revenue and develop export markets. The expansion includes a new factory at Melton, upgrades to the current Thomastown factory, creating three new distribution centers in regional Victoria and upgrading the current depot in Geelong. As part of the project, Bertocchi will invest in new preparation equipment and process improvements to reflect the changing needs of supermarkets. The much-loved family-owned maker of hams, bacon and salami products was established in 1972 and is Australia’s third largest smallgoods manufacturer. Its products are distributed nationally through Coles, Woolworths and IGA stores and other delicatessens, butcher and food shops. The food and fiber export sector adds $11.9 billion to the State’s economy and employs more than 190,000 Victorians throughout the state. Food and beverage manufacturing is thriving, with employment steadily increasing over the last few years. The Labor Government has committed over $100 million in manufacturing support, which has created more than 3,000 jobs resulting in $939 million in private investment.

BERTOCCHI EXPANSION TO CREATE MORE THAN 700 LOCAL JOBS

The Andrews Labor Government is backing a major expansion of Bertocchi Smallgoods that will create more than 700 new jobs in Victoria. Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll visited Bertocchi's Thomastown factory today to announce support for its $46.7 million expansion to increase sales and revenue and develop export markets. The expansion includes a new factory at Melton, upgrades to the current Thomastown factory, creating three new distribution centers in regional Victoria and upgrading the current depot in Geelong. As part of the project, Bertocchi will invest in new preparation equipment and process improvements to reflect the changing needs of supermarkets. The much-loved family-owned maker of hams, bacon and salami products was established in 1972 and is Australia’s third largest smallgoods manufacturer. Its products are distributed nationally through Coles, Woolworths and IGA stores and other delicatessens, butcher and food shops. The food and fiber export sector adds $11.9 billion to the State’s economy and employs more than 190,000 Victorians throughout the state. Food and beverage manufacturing is thriving, with employment steadily increasing over the last few years. The Labor Government has committed over $100 million in manufacturing support, which has created more than 3,000 jobs resulting in $939 million in private investment.

GETTING ON WITH BUILDING A SAFER COMMUNITY IN LALOR

The Andrews Labor Government is investing in upgrades to improve safety, cut down on crime and encourage more people to visit the May Road shopping centre. Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny today announced $200,000 in funding for the Whittlesea City Council’s Lalor CCTV Pilot. This project will install CCTV in the May Road shopping precinct to deter criminal activity and ensure people feel safer going about their business. The Lalor CCTV Pilot project has received funding through the latest round of Public Safety Infrastructure Fund grants, with 20 councils across Victoria to share in more than $3.4 million funding for 20 projects. As a condition of funding, Whittlesea City Council will consult with Victoria Police regarding the final selection and placement of cameras to ensure they are of sufficient quality to support evidence gathering. The Public Safety Infrastructure Fund grants program supports projects that improve community safety and confidence in public places. It is part of the Victorian Government’s $19.4 million investment in its Community Crime Prevention Program, aimed at tackling crime and its root causes. Quotes attributable to Member for Thomastown, Bronwyn Halfpenny: “The Andrews Labor Government is proud to be partnering with Whittlesea City Council to help increase public safety in Lalor.” “This project will help shoppers in the May Road precinct stay safe. This means women, families, and the wider community can use this space more comfortably.” “I am often asked by residents why there are not more CCTV cameras in public places such as May Road, Rockdale Square playground and Lalor Bowling Club. I encourage the Council to take further steps to improve safety in these areas.” “We are delivering a record $2 billion to recruit more police and deliver stronger laws, but these grants recognise the importance of the community’s input in enhancing safety at a local level.”

GETTING ON WITH BUILDING A SAFER COMMUNITY IN LALOR

The Andrews Labor Government is investing in upgrades to improve safety, cut down on crime and encourage more people to visit the May Road shopping centre. Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny today announced $200,000 in funding for the Whittlesea City Council’s Lalor CCTV Pilot. This project will install CCTV in the May Road shopping precinct to deter criminal activity and ensure people feel safer going about their business. The Lalor CCTV Pilot project has received funding through the latest round of Public Safety Infrastructure Fund grants, with 20 councils across Victoria to share in more than $3.4 million funding for 20 projects. As a condition of funding, Whittlesea City Council will consult with Victoria Police regarding the final selection and placement of cameras to ensure they are of sufficient quality to support evidence gathering. The Public Safety Infrastructure Fund grants program supports projects that improve community safety and confidence in public places. It is part of the Victorian Government’s $19.4 million investment in its Community Crime Prevention Program, aimed at tackling crime and its root causes. Quotes attributable to Member for Thomastown, Bronwyn Halfpenny: “The Andrews Labor Government is proud to be partnering with Whittlesea City Council to help increase public safety in Lalor.” “This project will help shoppers in the May Road precinct stay safe. This means women, families, and the wider community can use this space more comfortably.” “I am often asked by residents why there are not more CCTV cameras in public places such as May Road, Rockdale Square playground and Lalor Bowling Club. I encourage the Council to take further steps to improve safety in these areas.” “We are delivering a record $2 billion to recruit more police and deliver stronger laws, but these grants recognise the importance of the community’s input in enhancing safety at a local level.”

GETTING IT DONE: REVITALISING THE THOMASTOWN PAVILION

The Andrews Labor Government will help redevelop the Thomastown Main Street Community Pavilion through a $2 million Growing Suburbs Fund (GSF) grant. Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny announced today that a new multi-faceted community facility will be constructed to provide additional club space for better future use. Works will include a new foyer, sports administration offices and a first aid room, a multi-purpose community space, canteen/kitchen, two home-side and visitor change rooms, two umpire change rooms, club gym, additional storage space and landscape works. The project will provide the Thomastown community with a fit for purpose facility that meets the increasing and diversifying demand in sport, recreation and supports female participation in sport. The GSF supports investment in critical local infrastructure in Melbourne's diverse and fast-growing interface councils. Whittlesea City Council has received $5 million to deliver three projects under the 2017-2019 GSF. The latest 2017-19 GSF round will deliver 40 projects across Melbourne’s outer suburbs. Quotes attributable to Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny: “This funding will go a long way to ensuring Thomastown has a sports pavilion they will cherish.” “Modern Sports facilities and community spaces are important to our community and that’s why we’re future investing and getting this job done.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Marlene Kairouz: “The revamped pavilion will be a terrific asset to the Thomastown community and we’re proud to be funding it.” “This is another example of the Growing Suburbs Fund delivering much needed community infrastructure to Melbourne’s outer suburbs.”

GETTING IT DONE: REVITALISING THE THOMASTOWN PAVILION

The Andrews Labor Government will help redevelop the Thomastown Main Street Community Pavilion through a $2 million Growing Suburbs Fund (GSF) grant. Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny announced today that a new multi-faceted community facility will be constructed to provide additional club space for better future use. Works will include a new foyer, sports administration offices and a first aid room, a multi-purpose community space, canteen/kitchen, two home-side and visitor change rooms, two umpire change rooms, club gym, additional storage space and landscape works. The project will provide the Thomastown community with a fit for purpose facility that meets the increasing and diversifying demand in sport, recreation and supports female participation in sport. The GSF supports investment in critical local infrastructure in Melbourne's diverse and fast-growing interface councils. Whittlesea City Council has received $5 million to deliver three projects under the 2017-2019 GSF. The latest 2017-19 GSF round will deliver 40 projects across Melbourne’s outer suburbs. Quotes attributable to Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny: “This funding will go a long way to ensuring Thomastown has a sports pavilion they will cherish.” “Modern Sports facilities and community spaces are important to our community and that’s why we’re future investing and getting this job done.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Marlene Kairouz: “The revamped pavilion will be a terrific asset to the Thomastown community and we’re proud to be funding it.” “This is another example of the Growing Suburbs Fund delivering much needed community infrastructure to Melbourne’s outer suburbs.”

SAVE ON ENERGY WITH VICTORIAN ENERGY COMPARE

The rising cost of energy is a big concern for Victorian households. Earlier this year, the Victorian Labor Government announced that an extra $1 million would be invested in the Victorian Energy Compare website to include cost-reflective and other innovative tariffs, to ensure that the website can respond to the introduction of new tariffs by energy retailers. We encourage you to use the Victorian Energy Compare tool to compare your energy costs with alternative providers. Victorian Energy Compare is an independent initiative by the Victorian Government. Through the website, you can compare electricity, gas and solar offers from all energy retailers to find the best option for you. Seven out of ten Victorians can save money by simply switching energy plans. Compare your energy bill at www.vic.gov.au/victorianenergycompare. If you would like further information or need any assistance with the website, please don't hesitate to contact my office on (03) 9401 2711.  

SAVE ON ENERGY WITH VICTORIAN ENERGY COMPARE

The rising cost of energy is a big concern for Victorian households. Earlier this year, the Victorian Labor Government announced that an extra $1 million would be invested in the Victorian Energy Compare website to include cost-reflective and other innovative tariffs, to ensure that the website can respond to the introduction of new tariffs by energy retailers. We encourage you to use the Victorian Energy Compare tool to compare your energy costs with alternative providers. Victorian Energy Compare is an independent initiative by the Victorian Government. Through the website, you can compare electricity, gas and solar offers from all energy retailers to find the best option for you. Seven out of ten Victorians can save money by simply switching energy plans. Compare your energy bill at www.vic.gov.au/victorianenergycompare. If you would like further information or need any assistance with the website, please don't hesitate to contact my office on (03) 9401 2711.