Ballarat Base Hospital: helipad
From my very first day as a member of Parliament, I have been determined to see a helipad built at the Ballarat base hospital. It has been my job to make sure that the government does not let this important project drop down its list of priorities, despite the fact that this seems to be exactly what the Baillieu government and the Minister for Health are determined to do.
This government chose not to provide in the budget this year any money for the helipad. Despite the Premier’s claim in the week following the budget that the helipad was funded in the out years, there was not one cent set aside. Instead the Baillieu government decided to set up a committee. That committee recently released its report, and it is underwhelming — including pictures, it is a report of just 12 pages in length. Twelve pages for eight months work is the simple proof that this report is nothing more than an attempt to cover up the government’s failure to deliver a helipad.
It took eight months of discussions to arrive right back where we started. The report narrows the options for a helipad site to four — options that were known at least 12 months ago.
I congratulate the community members and service provider representatives on the committee on their dedication to bringing a helipad to the Ballarat base hospital. Their commitment is devalued by the government’s lack of action. The report’s conclusion sums it all up:
The working group has identified four options that should be further investigated in detail by the Department of Health to secure the optimum location for a helipad.
This report, which was so eagerly awaited by the people of Ballarat, simply concluded that the siting of the helipad needs further investigation.
This manipulation and delay is just not good enough.