19 March 2015
March 19, 2015
Ms RYAN (Euroa) — This weekend the Victorian Head of the River regatta will take place in Nagambie. The regatta is the oldest continuous schoolboy rowing event in the world, dating back to 1868. Nagambie has almost everything one could wish for when hosting an event such as this: world-class rowing facilities, a constant water level, a temperate climate and great accommodation and food and wine offerings to accommodate the 15 000 people who will visit during the course of the event. But the town lacks one thing: an ambulance. Over the past week I have spoken to members of the Nagambie Ambulance Service Community Alliance and the CEO of Rowing Victoria, who hold serious concerns about this.
In 2004 Ambulance Victoria acknowledged there was a response time problem in the area surrounding Nagambie. A community emergency response team (CERT) was established as an interim solution. Since then CERT volunteers have given 200 000 hours of service. The CERT recorded a maximum of 242 call-outs in 2009, and in the 12-month period between July 2013 and June 2014 the CERT recorded 91 call-outs it was able to respond to. This represents a decline of 266 per cent.
With just one ambulance in the entire Strathbogie shire, what might be a routine call-out elsewhere has the potential to be a matter of life and death in Nagambie. The coalition recognised this. We gave the community a commitment that we would fund two full-time paramedics and an ambulance community support officer. Labor was very vocal about ambulances before the election, but now, when there is a real and pressing need, it has gone deathly silent.
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