I would like to pay my respects to the traditional owners, the Woiwurung and Wathaurung people and their elders past and present.
I am so honoured to be here today, with Terry O’Bryan and his wonderful team and Clovis Bonner and his terrific board.
I also acknowledge our local council and community representatives.
I am so pleased to be joined by my Labor colleagues, our Leader, Bill Shorten and Catherine King, the Federal Shadow Minister for Health, to celebrate this great achievement. Labor is proud of its record in delivering vital service like these. Thank you for making the time to be here today.
Today is a great day for the Wyndham community. I would like to commend ISIS Primary Care and the work they have done in the community health sector across the west of Melbourne for more than 17 years.
Now ISIS is working hard to provide primary health care for the community of Wyndham Vale through this great facility, the Wyndham Vale GP Super Clinic.
This is great news for the community of Wyndham Vale. It’s great news for the region. A much needed facility in this area of high growth; with approximately 70 babies born each week, with 15,000 new residents in the last 2 years and a population of 200,000 expected by the end of this financial year.
This facility is a shining example how government health policy can directly serve the well-being of its citizens.
The Rudd-Gillard Government saw the need to plug the gap between local GP’s and Hospitals. Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, another champion of the west, identified a need in the provision of Primary Care. She recognised the need for local services that would go further than just providing a local GP, one that would be able to also take the load off hospitals.
GP super clinics were designed to deal effectively with primary care.
This GP Super Clinic will cut waiting times and work in tandem with private practice and our Medicare Local to make seeing a doctor easier and quicker.
This GP Super Clinic will bring together general practitioners, practice nurses, allied health professionals, visiting medical specialists and other health care providers to deliver primary health care services aimed at addressing the health care needs and priorities of our local community.
Prevention of diseases before they take hold is extremely important, as treatment after they have become established is difficult, time consuming and a huge burden on the economy.
The fiscally shrewd way to deal with diseases then, is to prevent them, to treat them at the primary level.
This is why investing in GP Super Clinics is not only a good and sound idea for our nation’s health, it is also fiscally responsible.
And this is why my community is thankful to people like Nicola Roxon and Tanya Plibersek and indeed my predecessor Julia Gillard for putting so much work into this project.
I first visited this facility last year, with Julia, as she inspected the building work in progress. As the previous Member for Lalor, Julia, followed this project closely and wanted the following message to be read out on her behalf:
Thank you kindly for your invitation to attend the official opening of the Wyndham Vale GP Super Clinic and Primary Care Centre. It was my great delight to turn the first sod on these grounds in October 2012 and I regret that I cannot join you today in these celebrations.
This is a growing community with growing health care needs. Because of the Labor Government’s investment in this clinic, residents in Wyndham Vale finally have access to the care they need when and where they need it. My congratulations go to all involved, and to the staff, I wish you the very best in delivering the healthcare needs of this great community.
ISIS has driven this project locally, taken on the challenge and excelled.
They had three clear aims for the centre- that it be;
- An iconic building
- Near public transport
- Near a shopping centre
They have achieved all three of these aims.
They built it all, under budget and in good time.
The building is beautiful, functional and has plenty of room for future expansion. Wonderful to see there was foresight to deliver a facility with the capacity to grow with the community, as the residents arrive.
This was done with $15million dollars from the Federal Government at a total cost of $23million.
This investment also builds on the unprecedented investment by the previous Labor Government in the Mercy Hospital and the establishment of the Melbourne Clinical School, in conjunction with Notre Dame University, to train doctors here locally.
This facility is good news for health provision in Lalor.
I thank ISIS and all those involved for their efforts and expertise.