News

Coalition pledge to fund GV Health stage two redevelopment

By Shepparton News

Goulburn Valley Health’s redevelopment will be completed and the hospital will boast an integrated cancer centre if the Liberal-Nationals Coalition wins the November 24 Victorian election.

The announcement comes after the Coalition committed $21million to complete the GV Health master plan and deliver a residential mother and baby unit.

With building works expected to be completed by 2021, Shadow Health Minister Mary Wooldridge said stage two of the redevelopment would continue straight afterwards and the entire redevelopment would be completed in the two terms.

‘‘We will fund the investment needed to do the work to get to that stage and once stage one is complete we will continue on to stage two,’’ she said.

‘‘What stage two delivers is an integrated cancer centre including radiotherapy, which is much needed for people in this region.

‘‘It will also deliver new and redeveloped mental health beds, car parking, out-patient areas and additional services for people in this region.’’

While the cost of the entire project has not been determined, Committee for Greater Shepparton chief executive Sam Birrell said it had done a report into determining an estimated figure.

‘‘The Committee for Greater Shepparton has been calling on all parties to commit to funding stage two,’’ he said.

‘‘We need a full hospital — with a cancer centre and mental health as well as the other facilities.

‘‘We put a report together into determining what that might cost and it’s probably going to be anywhere between $270million and $370million.’’

Mr Birrell said the committee hoped to see Labor match the commitment prior to the election.

‘‘We want to see a bi-partisan approach to GV Health,’’ he said.

The Coalition criticised State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed for continuously failing to hold theVictorian Government to account for the delay in completing the master plan.

Ms Sheed, who used her final question in Parliament to raise the issue last month, said she welcomed the Coalition’s announcement.

‘‘I think it’s fantastic. This is just the sort of thing we hoped having an independent in the seat would do,’’ she said.

‘‘We’re finally on the map. Everyone’s coming to town. Promises are being made. And this is just a really welcomed addition to the promises that are coming out as we go forward.’’

Ms Sheed said GV Health funding was a primary priority of her first term in government.

‘‘I suppose GV Health has been one of the main issues in this community for a very long time and there was master plan after master plan before I got elected in 2014, and to get stage one under way has created that momentum to enable people to see what needs to come next,’’ she said.

‘‘We know we need stage two — we need a cancer centre, we need a mother-baby unit, all these things are major issues that have been on the agenda for some time, so I’m pleased to see the parties are taking these issues up.’’