Bill's Transcripts

Doorstop: Melbourne - Victorian Labor’s Western Women’s and Children’s Hospital commitment;

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP INTERVIEW

MELBOURNE

WEDNESDAY, 12 NOVEMBER 2014

 

SUBJECT/S: Victorian Labor’s Western Women’s and Children’s Hospital commitment; Tony Abbott’s unfair Budget; Tony Abbott’s GP Tax.

 

DANIEL ANDREWS, LEADER OF THE VICTORIAN OPPOSITION: Well firstly can I say how proud I am to be here today at Sunshine Hospital, part of Western Health. Coming in with Bill Shorten today just walking past those brand new buildings, that teaching, training and research and ward block that Labor proudly built. This is a fantastic hospital in a network that’s doing such important work. But we’ve seen really significant growth in our western suburbs, whether it be in terms of the birthing numbers, population growth, there’s a really significant need for us to continue to invest in the health services that matter most and that’s the services closest to home. In the cuts backs in our health system and we have to build a new and a better health service, help system for patients right across Melbourne and indeed right across Victoria. Given the growth that we’ve seen in recent years it’s very important that we help Sunshine Hospital and Western Health write the next chapter in this great facilities journey. This story is one of investment over a long period of time, I’ve visited this hospital many, many times and I know that Western Health and Sunshine Hospital have the best nurses, the best doctors, the best ambulance paramedics moving in and out of the hospital, the best allied health professionals, cleaners, cooks, the whole team are the best and they’re passionate in their commitment to something that has always and will always be valued by Labor, by Governments that have the right priorities invest in the best facilities to be able to provide the very best care.

 

And that’s why I am so very proud to be here today and to announce that a Labor Government, if elected on the 29th of November, will invest $200 million to build a Western Women’s and Children’s Hospital right here at Sunshine. This is such an important day, such an important commitment. This is a five story building, free standing but linked to the current hospital. 237 extra beds, 4 extra theatres, additional capacity through special care nursery cots that can overtime become the neonatal intensive care unit that this hospital and this region is so important and so desperate in the medium term. That future proofing, the opportunity to grow and to provide not just more of the same care, but a higher level of care is really very, very important.

 

There’s one other element to this Western Women’s and Children’s Hospital $200 million investment and that is of course 32 purpose built, single children’s rooms, a brand new children’s ward based on the design at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Parkville. This is about the best of care, brand new facilities that are designed for kids but also for parents. There’ll be break out areas, there’ll be beds that can be pulled out so that mum and dad have somewhere to stay close to their child. So in essence this is about the next part of Sunshine Hospital’s story, it’s about the best care for patients in one of the fastest growing areas across our state; 5,500 babies will born here this year, by 2025 it will be 7,500. We need to make these investments and Labor will to make sure we keep pace with that growth and that we don’t simply do more of the same but that we grow the range of services that can be provided here in the local community to benefit mums and bubs and families right across the West.

 

$200 million for Western Women’s and Children’s Hospital, it is the sort of investment that only ever occurs under a Labor Government with the right priorities and that’s why we are going to fulfil our obligation to give every Victorian a clear choice, a clear choice about putting people first as opposed to four more years like the last four. Now I’m honoured and pleased to be joined by Bill Shorten today and I might now throw to Bill to make a few comments.

 

BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: It’s great to be at Sunshine Hospital with Daniel Andrews. I live in the Western suburbs of Melbourne, this hospital’s in my electorate. What Daniel Andrew’s is doing is showing leadership by ensuring that wherever you live in Victoria you get quality healthcare. I too would like to accord and acknowledge my respect for the medical and allied health professionals, to the general staff here who are doing such a great job about giving people a brighter, healthier future. But clearly any tour of this hospital reveals immediately what needs to be done; 5,500 babies are being born in this hospital each year and that numbers projected to grow the 7,500. Our health system in Victoria and Australia must keep pace with the populations needs, it’s one of the fundamental duties of government.

 

That is why Tony Abbott’s cuts to healthcare are so dreadful to this hospital and this state. $55 billion worth of cuts from the Federal Budget to the health system across Australia is bad news for the patients and people who work in this hospital. $12.5 billion of those dollars are in Victoria alone. Tony Abbott wants to put a new tax on sick people going to the doctor, he wants to make it more expensive to get that those vital x-rays and scans which will often mean the difference between quality healthcare and far, far worse. So today you see the real difference between Daniel Andrews and Denis Napthine.

 

The test of leadership in Victoria is can a Victorian Premier stand up for his state regardless of the politics of the person running Canberra? Denis Napthine has failed the test of leadership in this state. He has shown greater loyalty to Tony Abbott then he has to Victorians. He made one statement about the Budget on May the 14th and he hasn’t even tried to defend the Victorian health budget since that date. What Victorians need is real leadership. People who will put the health of Victorians ahead of the politics of the same party in Canberra. We know now that Denis Napthine doesn’t want Tony Abbott campaigning down here, but that is too late. When has Denis Napthine been standing up for Victorian health needs? Today, you see a very clear illustration. A vote for Daniel Andrews and Labor is not just a vote for better healthcare in the western suburbs of Melbourne; it is a vote for someone who will stand up for Victorians against a ruthless, extreme Government bringing down an unfair Budget based upon lies told before the last election.

 

It is great to be here in Sunshine and I congratulate again, the hard work of all the staff and I acknowledge the power of the announcement made by Daniel Andrews for this community.

 

ANDREWS: Happy to take your questions.

 

JOURNALIST: Mr Andrews, what’s the timeline for this project?

 

ANDREWS: The first of the money will flow in the very first Budget of a Labor Government, so that’s next year in 2015 and I am going to do everything I can, if we are given that great honour to govern our state, to have this five story, $200 million Western Women’s and Children’s Hospital ready and open by the end of 2018. I just want to make a couple of points about Western Health. The leadership that Alex and her team have shown to develop this proposal, to work really hard every day to provide the very best of care; they should be really proud. But it is the Government’s job to always make sure that we fund health properly, that we don’t cut health funding and what’s more, we’ve got a plan to manage growth, to cater for growth, to make sure that we aren’t putting more and more pressure on our nurses and midwives, on our ambos, our allied health professionals and of course the medical team that work in this and so many other hospitals. This is an important investment because it is all about putting people first and it is all about making sure families in the west of Melbourne can get the care they need in the community that they have helped to build. That is what a good health system looks like.

 

Thank you very much.

 

ENDS

 

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT – 02 6277 4053