Labor split on regional ambulance services

Felix Ellis,Liberal Member for Braddon

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is investing significantly in ambulance services, especially in regional areas.

Labor are clearly split on this issue. Under Rebecca White’s leadership, Hobart-based Sarah Lovell* opposed our 2018 election commitment to employ more paramedics in remote areas of the State – instead calling for more to be employed in urban areas.

Yet now, Anita Dow is trying to claim Labor’s been ‘calling for years’ for regional ambulance services – a complete re-writing of history that simply doesn’t stack up.

Unlike Labor – whose position seemingly changes with the electoral wind – our position has been clear from day one. We have invested significantly in regional and rural ambulance services across the State, to respond quickly to emergency situations.

We promised 48 new paramedics at the last election and we already delivered 44 of these, with the remainder being recruited as we speak, and an additional four announced yesterday on top of this.

We also committed $19.5 million in the 2021-2022 Budget to the new Burnie and Glenorchy Ambulance Super Stations, with both projects scheduled to begin later this year and be completed by 2024.

A further four stations are also planned for new construction at Oatlands, Bridgewater, Beaconsfield and Queenstown, with each station to provide paramedics with contemporary operating environments with on-site facilities, a training room, and a garage for two ambulances.

In my electorate of Braddon, we have already delivered the $1.8 million Latrobe Ambulance Station upgrade in 2019 and the $1 million Smithton Ambulance Station redevelopment, along with other significant health investments for the North West such as the two brand new helipads at the Mersey and North West Regional Hospitals.

Unlike Labor’s constant flip-flopping and changing positions, we will continue delivering the essential services Tasmanians expect and deserve.

*The Advocate, 28 August 2019

“Labor has urged the government to rethink its election commitment to employ more paramedics in remote areas of the state due to high demand in urban areas.”

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