Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : January 18, 2017 Contents PAGE 6 - THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2017
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Bass Coast Shire Council, 76 McBride Avenue, Wonthaggi | DX 34903 Wonthaggi | PO Box 118,
Wonthaggi VIC 3995 | 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211 | email@example.com
Tender No 17005 – 2016/2017 Building Renewal Program – Package 4 Dalyston and North-West
Council is seeking to appoint a suitably experienced contractor to carry out Package 4 in the
Dalyston and north-west localities, which incorporates maintenance, renewal and/or upgrade
of facilities. Tender documents can be downloaded from www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/tenders
free of charge. Hardcopy documents are available by contacting Procurement on (03) 5671
2241 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Non-refundable document fee for hardcopies is $50.00 .
Tender No 17005 opens 9.00am on Tuesday, 17 January 2017 and closes at 2.00pm on Tuesday, 7
Council is currently recruiting for the following position:
Coordinator Civil Design
Applications close Sunday, 29 January 2017
Since 2012, the following small towns
in Victoria have been allocated substan-
tial state government monies to build,
upgrade or redevelop their hospitals.
Each township has an ambulance
service, and is located in similar prox-
imity to a large or sub regional hospital,
as Cowes is to Wonthaggi.
• Numurkah Hospital... Allocated
$18.3 million to rebuild after flooding.
Population 4,700. Numurkah is locat-
ed 33.6 kilometres from Shepparton,
and the Goulburn Valley Base Hospital
there. It is 24 kilometres east of Na-
thalia which has a public hospital. And
39 kilometres south west of Cobram,
which also has a public hospital.
• Charlton Hospital: Allocated $22.7
million to rebuild after flooding. Popu-
lation 1,467. Located centrally between
five public hospitals... at Donald, St Ar-
nard, Whycheproof, Boort, and Wedder-
burn. The six hospitals in this region
serve between them a total population
of 10,000 people. The Charlton hospital
includes 15 beds, facilities for both ur-
gent and primary care, a medical clinic,
ambulance station, admin sect and sup-
port services, as well as a helipad for
transfer of patients.
• Castlemaine: Population 6,700.
Located 30 kilometres from the Ben-
digo Base Hospital, received a funding
upgrade of $10 million. Castlemaine
is surrounded by five public hospitals
within a 40 kilometre range, including
the Bendigo Base Hospital, 38 kilome-
• Kerang Hospital: $36.3 million re-
development. District population of
3780 residents. Kerang is centrally lo-
cated between three towns which also
have acute care hospitals. These are
the large Swan Hill Hospital (popula-
tion 9881) 57 kilometres away on the
straight Murray Valley highway to the
north; Cohuna Hospital (population
2,314) is 32 kilometres to the east; and
the Boort Hospital (population 1,220)
with nine acute beds, is located 52 kilo-
metres to the south.
• Boort Hospital: $14 million hos-
pital redevelopment. Population 800.
Boort is situated in close proximity to
five public hospitals. It is 52 kilometres
from Kerang (population 3,873) And
47 kilometres from Charlton (popula-
tion 1,287) where the local hospital was
rebuilt after flooding at a cost of $22.7
For the want of $2.5 million
Yet it was for the want of $2.5 million
that the Warley Bush Nursing Hospital
at Cowes was forced to close in 2008,
with no state government assistance
The state government refused to
fund that relatively small amount to en-
able the island’s community of (then)
10,000 residents (now 11,000) access
to 24/7 care, on the basis that Warley
was a private hospital, and not a state
responsibility; nor would it take over
Yet eighteen months later, the Sea
Lake Bush Nursing Hospital, which
found itself in the identical situation
to the Warley Bush Nursing Hospital,
was given assistance, and continues to
thrive as a public hospital today.
The same state government that re-
fused to assist Warley eighteen months
prior brokered a $2.35 million funding
package with the Commonwealth to
secure the Sea Lake hospital’s future,
for its population of 640, and locked in
recurrent funding for health and com-
munity services for the people there.
Sea Lake is located 54 kilometres
away from the Birchip Hospital (popu-
lation 660) which provides urgent and
acute care; 70km west of the large
Swan Hill hospital; and a similar dis-
tance from the Hopetoun Hospital
(population 55) which also provides
after hours care.
What’s the difference?
Phillip Island has a permanent pop-
ulation of 11,000, 3.5 million visitors
annually, and a peak summer holiday
period population of 60,000, and is
lauded by both State and Federal gov-
ernment as Victoria’s number one re-
gional tourism destination.
Yet it cannot attract 24/7 health fund-
ing in spite of strong lobbying over the
past eight years.
Wonthaggi, in spite of dire need, has
not been accorded sub regional status.
Echuca Hospital (population 13,000)
has been redeveloped at a cost of $65.6
The combined population of Phillip
Island and Wonthaggi is 17,000, with-
out taking into account visitation.
Taking the statistics and figures into
account, “Where’s the equity?” asks Pe-
ter Paul, PIMHAG president.
“We applaud each of the towns re-
ferred to on winning tens of millions
of dollars and recurrent funding to be
able to provide their communities with
the public health care they so clearly
need,” Peter said.
“But why are the needs of the people
of Phillip Island utterly dismissed, in
comparison to the needs of the people
in the rest of rural Victoria.
“Why is public health care not be-
ing delivered equitably in this state, by
both sides of government, is the ques-
tion that needs to be answered.
“We are a substantiated major growth
area, unlike other parts of regional Vic-
toria, some with declining populations
that have attracted enormous public
health funding allocations in recent
Mr Paul said that The Health Hub
to be built in Church Street will be of
benefit to Phillip Islanders, but at this
stage it does not include 24/7 emergen-
cy facilities for residents.
“In terms of the Hub, it will enable
some short term issues to be ad-
“But we must and will continue to
lobby for a 24/7 capacity.
“A 24/7 facility is necessary, and
would certainly give the people of Phil-
lip Island reassurance and comfort.
“The same reassurance that the peo-
ple across the rest of regional Victoria
“We will also work to see Wonthaggi
achieves an effective 24/7 facility.
“Wonthaggi Hospital, with its limited
resources, cannot currently provide
adequately for the surrounding com-
munities it is asked to serve.
“This has been borne out on recent
occasions with community members
unable to get the assistance they need.
“It needs to be upgraded to a sub-
“There must be planning for the
Bass Coast area. We need to plan for
the future, at state level, starting with a
staged Master Plan that can be imple-
mented as funding becomes available.”
Mr Paul said that the need for better
health facilities on Phillip Island has
been overwhelmingly identified by the
local community at PIMHAG consulta-
tive tables set up at three locations in
the street over summer, as this com-
munity’s number one priority.
The Phillip Island Medical and
Health Action Group PIMHAG has dis-
tributed many hundreds of Medical
and Health Requirement surveys in the
street since Christmas, seeking infor-
mation which will be useful in its quest
to see adequate medical and health fa-
cilities established and maintained on
The fight for fair
Hospitals at Charlton ($22.7 mil-
lion) and Boort ($14 million) have
had a $37 million injection of fund-
ing since 2012 to service their dis-
trict’s 2,267 residents. Charlton is
centrally located within a 50 km
range of another five public hospi-
Numurkah Hospital, which serves
a population of 3,700 people, and
is located within 36 kilometres of
the large Shepparton Base Hospi-
tal, received an $18.3 million up-
grade after flooding in recent years.
Cowes is 42 kilometres from Won-
In a fairer world, the next red circle on this map should appear at
Cowes. With a population of 11,000, which can soar to quadruple that
figure in peak times, and visitation of 3.5 million visitors annually, a 24
hour medical service is not available, nor considered a necessity by the
Public hospitals across regional Victoria provide even the smallest of
populations with 24 hour urgent care.
PHILLIP Island residents, during their fight for 24/7 health care since the closure of Warley Hos-
pital in 2008, noted the allocation of funds for health facilities to small rural communities in recent
years with great interest. Congratulations are in order to all of these communities.
But the question PIMHAG president Peter Paul has asked this week is: Why is Phillip Island and
also Wonthaggi treated differently from the rest of rural Victoria?
An upgraded ambulance service and our proximity to the Wonthaggi Hospital has been deemed
sufficient for the island’s 24/7 emergency needs, since the closure of Warley in 2008, and the resul-
tant loss of access to 24/7 emergency care.
Yet townships with less than a quarter the size of the Phillip Island population, and located closer
to large public hospital than Cowes residents (42km) are to Wonthaggi, have had tens of millions of
dollars allocated by the state government toward their health services and needs, since that time.
Why are we so different, asks PIMHAG president
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