Melbourne’s biggest ambulance station is open for business, with the new, state-of-the-art Sunshine branch officially opening its doors today.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Ambulance Services, Jill Hennessy, joined Sunshine and MICA 3 paramedics and their families to officially open the new $1.5 million, 24 hour branch and thank paramedics for their service.
In January 2013, paramedics were forced to boycott the then dilapidated Sunshine branch over safety concerns after the former Liberal Government refused to provide funding for the much needed redevelopment.
It was only after repeated pleas from paramedics that they were at risk due to the unsafe, sub-standard working conditions, and a concerted campaign by the then Labor Opposition, that the branch was upgraded.
The new purpose built branch will support paramedics to handle more than 900 call-outs each month, with up to 40 paramedics working from the site. Paramedics were involved in the planning and design of the new branch.
The contrast between the former Liberal Government and the Andrews Labor Government when it comes to supporting and investing in our paramedics couldn’t be clearer.
We’ve been working hard to rebuild our ambulance system after four years of crisis under the Liberals.
Since coming to office we’ve:
- ended the long-running pay dispute with paramedics
- appointed a new board of Ambulance Victoria led by Ken Lay
- released previously secretly data about ambulance response times
- invested $99 million to improve ambulance services across the state, upgrade ambulance stations, equipment and vehicles and expand counselling services available to paramedics
- released the Ambulance Performance and Policy Consultative Committee’s Ambulance Action Plan, and fast-tracked our $60 million Response Time Rescue Fund to improve response times
And, last week, we recognised the significant changes to paramedic work requirements over the past ten years, which found the work paramedics do is now more demanding, more complex and requires more skills than it did previously.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“The old Sunshine branch was unsafe and put our paramedics at risk – I’m proud we stood alongside Sunshine paramedics and fought for this much needed upgrade to occur.”
“This new, state-of-the-art branch will support our paramedics to do what they do best, which is save lives.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy
“Today’s opening is a testament to the tireless campaigning by our Sunshine paramedics to secure this upgrade.”
“Unlike the Liberals, we put the health and safety of our paramedics first.”
Quotes attributable to the Member for St Albans Natalie Suleyman
“As the largest ambulance station in Melbourne, Sunshine residents can have confidence they will get the treatment and care they need, when they need it.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020