Health workforce policy will benefit East Gippslanders
East Gippsland health services workforce will benefit from the comprehensive new plan announced today by the Victorian Liberals and Nationals.
The new $325 million “Future Health Workforce Plan” will recruit, upskill, better manage and support the staff needed to return confidence to our health system.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said the plan targets an additional 18,000 new and upskilled nurses and midwives across the public and private sectors, on top of the 22,000 promised by the current Government.
“Many rural and regional health workforces have had significant staffing challenges and East Gippsland has been no different. This is a policy that not on makes a career in health more attractive but provides the financial supports for those wishing to upgrade their skills.
“This comes on the back of the recent announcement to invest to fix the triple zero crisis. When people call triple zero, they want someone to answer and they want a hospital bed when they need one, two things that are not happening at the moment,” said Mr Bull.
Shadow Minister for Health for former nurse, Georgie Crozier, said the Liberals and Nationals had a comprehensive plan to deliver a modern health workforce that would deliver better outcomes for patients across the state.
“This is a comprehensive plan that overhauls the way healthcare staff will be trained and supported by utilising existing experience and knowledge within the health system.
“Victoria cannot afford four more years of mismanagement and neglect under Daniel Andrews. Only the Liberals and Nationals will fix the health crisis and build the health system of the future,” she said.
Furthermore, this plan will overhaul the way in which healthcare staff are mentored and developed by utilising existing clinical skill and experience.
The Liberals and Nationals’ $325 million Future Health Workforce Plan, will deliver:
• 25,000 scholarships of $16,500 to fully offset the upfront HECS debts of nursing and midwifery students – including 20,000 for public health positions and 5,000 for the private health sector.
• 10,000 scholarships for existing nurses and midwives to upgrade their skills with postgraduate and specialist training to roles such as becoming registered nurses, nurse
• practitioners, nurse unit managers and maternal and child health nurses, to be delivered by leading health education providers including the Australian College of Nursing.
• The immediate recruitment of 5,000 new nurses and midwives and 2,000 new other health workers by funding re-training fees and establishing a new visa subclass for international health workers.
In addition, a Liberals and Nationals Government will immediately establish a Victorian Ministerial Health Workforce Council which will be tasked with:
• Conducting a state-wide public and private sector workforce and skills audit to inform the mix of newly funded positions.
• Developing a robust and flexible surge workforce model to assist in managing future emergency events and pandemics.
• Expanding ‘full scope of practice’ workforce programs, including better utilisation of the existing clinical skill and expertise base, as well as expanding specialist roles such as Nurse Practitioners, Allied Health Generalists, Community Paramedics and Maternal and Child Health Nurses.
• Developing ongoing health workforce recruitment campaigns, staff retention measures and incentives in consultation with all stakeholders to mitigate future attrition.
• Supporting the creation of, and assisting in informing negotiations with the Commonwealth, for a Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) specifically focused on urgently addressing Victorian rural and regional health workforce shortages.
• Informing and working with the proposed Health Workforce Accommodation Taskforce to examine appropriate accommodation options, to not only attract health workers to rural and regional Victoria, but to also help retain existing workers who are finding it difficult to secure housing in the current tight private rental market in many areas.
This positive plan complements the Victorian Liberals and Nationals’ commitment to build or upgrade at least 20 hospitals across Victoria, with money reprioritised from shelving Daniel Andrews’ $35 billion Cheltenham to Box Hill rail line.
Leader of the Liberal Party, Matt Guy, said the Liberals and Nationals’ Future Health Workforce Plan was a critical real solution to fix the health crisis.
“Nurses, midwives and other vital healthcare staff are the glue that holds our health system together. By better supporting them we will deliver better health outcomes for Victorians.”
Caption: Shadow Health Minister, Georgie Crozier and State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, on a visit to the Bairnsdale Regional Health Service earlier this year.
Wednesday 28 September 2022
Labor Ministers have no idea on roadside vegetation risks
Roads Minister, Ben Carroll’s announcement today that Labor is investing more funds into removing grass and weeds on roadsides is laughable when he has ignored the major issues of roadside vegetation for so long, according to local Nationals State MP, Tim Bull.
“This is the Minister who, post fires, has left piles of 2019/20 bushfire debris in the road reserves in front of homes and allowed black wattle infestation to get completely out of control on our roadsides, despite the Government being asked to act on nine occasions in Parliament.
“I asked either the Minister for Roads or Environment to address the roadside clearing issues in: April 2020, November 2020, December 2020, June 2021, September 2021, October 2021, December 2021, May 2022 and then most recently, August 2022,” said Mr Bull.
“On most of these occasions, I used the Sarsfield situation as the example.
“That is nine times it has fallen on deaf ears and, on top of this, a number of local residents have raised their concerns directly with the Minister.
“Ministers Carroll and D’Ambrosio are either uninterested in the problem, or simply unwilling to fix it. However, we are now asked to applaud them because they have announced the Government is going to mow some of the roadside long grass, predominantly in metropolitan areas.
“It’s a laughable announcement and infuriating that these city-based Ministers just have no idea at all and fail to recognise where the major threats lie,” said Mr Bull.
“Fortunately, we look like having a wet spring that may reduce the fire risk, but we all know late in the summer it can dry off in a matter of days and that is why we need to control these roadsides.”
Mr Bull said it was the last week of Parliament this week before the election and he would use it to raise – for the 10th and final time in this term – the need for roadside vegetation to be kept under control.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, says the Government has provided an appalling response to roadside vegetation control.
Triple zero overhaul will be backed by East Gippslanders
The Victorian Liberals and Nationals will restore confidence in Triple-Zero calls with a $125 million investment into this critically important service that Victorians rely on, an announcement Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said will be very well received by his local constituents.
“Over the past couple of years, a number of East Gippslanders have contacted my office having experienced significant delays, or not having their calls answered at all, which has been most distressing.
“The reality is they have lost faith in a system that we should have more confidence in.
“The investment will be funded by reprioritising the $35 billion Labor has set aside for the Cheltenham to Box Hill rail line and reinvesting it into the health system,” he said.
A recent report by the independent Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) confirmed that 33 Victorians have died due to Triple-Zero failings.
Furthermore, the IGEM found that the absence of a common IT system and only 16 per cent of staff being trained across multiple services have contributed to poor outcomes.
Therefore, a Liberals and Nationals Government will provide an additional $125 million on top of the $333 million allocated in the 2022-23 budget to fix Triple-Zero, by:
• Upgrading all IT systems including a new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system and a fully functional new back-up system with sufficient capacity for surge demand,
• facilitating multiple service training for 50 per cent of all call taking and dispatch staff,
• refocusing staff recruitment on frontline call taking and dispatch roles, not corporate positions,
• delivering sustainable ongoing funding, which Triple-Zero has been requesting since 2015.
“Every Victorian deserves to have confidence that when they call Triple-Zero, someone will answer and help will be on the way.”
“This November, Victorians have a clear choice. A Triple-Zero service that works and major investment in the health system more generally, or a train line from Cheltenham to Box Hill in 13 years’ time.”Shadow Minister for Emergency Services, Brad Battin, said the Liberals and Nationals’ comprehensive plan would fix Triple-Zero once and for all.“Our comprehensive plan will get Triple-Zero working again and restore community confidence that help will be there in an emergency.”
$250,000 committed to new Paynesville green
In officially opening the new Paynesville Bowls Club season on Sunday, Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull had some good news for the many club members in attendance.
He announced a pre-election commitment of $250,000 for a new synthetic green at the club, an outcome members have been seeking for some time.
“A number of clubs in the region are installing synthetic greens for various reasons, but at the top of that list is the pressure on volunteer members to maintain grass greens and the ability to have more playing days in periods of wet weather,” said Mr Bull.
“I was first approached about this by club members on grand final day last year at Lakes Entrance and then we had follow-up meetings both in my office and at the Paynesville club, where the plans and costings were outlined in detail.
“Full credit to the club members who have advocated so strongly for this, and if elected to Government in November, it will be a pleasure to deliver this project.
“Paynesville is a growing club in a growing community and what was especially pleasing to see on Sunday was the amount of juniors who are participating and many are already representing the region, which is a feather in their cap.
“Bowls clubs, and all sporting clubs in our community for that matter, play an important role in bringing people together for social interaction, which we know brings many benefits, so we need to make sure facilities are in place to meet future needs,” he said.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, with junior members of the Paynesville Bowls Club just prior to officially opening the new season for the club.
Monday, 12 September 2022
Conran ramp must be finished by Christmas
Due to its tardiness and again missing an infrastructure deadline, Labor will now struggle to have the upgrade to the Cape Conran boat ramp completed by the Christmas school holidays.
Nationals Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, said the Government had previously stated the ramp construction would commence in July.
“I am pleased local company McInnes Earthmoving, based in Heyfield, has won the contract, as we know locals do the job best and they will do their bit to ensure the ramp is operational for the Christmas period,” Mr Bull said.
“My concern sits with the Government tardiness in awarding the contract, so work can start. It means the job needs to be finished within 14 weeks if it is to be fully operational by the holiday period and there is some weather dependency in that timeframe as well.”
Mr Bull said the new ramp will be slightly steeper and have a longer jetty and while he was disappointed “Prop Rock” (which has caused damage to many boats and outboards) will not be removed, he is pleased it will at least be clearly marked.
“While the design of the ramp will assist with reducing sand and kelp accumulation, it will still occur, and that is why a regular maintenance regime needs to be committed to.
“Parks Victoria is managing the rebuild, which fills me with little confidence given they have failed to complete the Cape Conran boardwalk and rebuild the Cape Conran cabins in three years since the fires, but hopefully they will move a bit quicker with this project,” he said.
“It is not the staff on the ground locally, who on the whole do a good job, they just seem to get held up by bureaucracy further up the food chain.”
Caption: The soon to be upgraded Cape Conran boat ramp with “Prop Rock” fully visible at low tide but becomes submerged when the tide rises.
Monday, 5 September 2022
Bull commits to new fire stations at Lakes, Metung
New fire stations will be built at both Lakes Entrance and Metung if a Liberal and Nationals Government is elected in November.
Nationals Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, made the two announcements totalling $3.6 million, over the weekend, saying he had been lobbied hard by the members of both brigades.
“For Lakes Entrance, the almost 100-year-old station is bursting at its seams, with trucks currently packed in like sardines and volunteer response gear having to be stored in the outdoor supply shed,” Mr Bull said.
“The reality is, when the new rescue vehicle arrives in Lakes later this year, they will not be able to fit it into the current facility.
“While the brigade members are doing their best with the resources they have, it is clear a relocation and new station is needed and that is why I was pleased to announce $2.8 million in funding at their annual dinner on Saturday night.”
Mr Bull said the new station would be located on Palmers Road where the East Gippsland Shire have agreed to accommodate the facility.
“The announcement at Metung on Sunday morning was the culmination of a great community effort from a very proactive brigade.
“After raising over $180,000 to purchase the greenfield site on the corner of Metung and Hardy’s Road, it’s time the community received what it’s been asking for and what is badly needed, a new state-of-the-art and fit for purpose fire station.
“Metung has grown significantly in recent years and the location of the new station will be in the growth area and will provide quicker access to more households.
“The community did the heavy lifting to raise the money for the block and now I’m pleased to say that if elected in November we will provide the $1.8 million to build the new station.
“We value the CFA and its members, unlike the current government that wants to dismantle it.
“In country towns like Lakes and Metung, local brigades are the backbone of the community, not just when we are under threat from fire, but supporting various activities.
“It is also not lost on me that both these locations are big tourist towns where the population booms over the warmer months, so having strong brigades with state-of-the-art bases to work from is important,” he said.
Monday, 5 September 2022