ADJOURNMENT | FOOTSCRAY HOSPITAL

Mr Melhem (Western Metropolitan): My adjournment matter is directed to the Minister for Health, the Honourable Jenny Mikakos. I am incredibly excited to see that planning works have started on the new $1.5 billion world-class public hospital in Footscray, with the project likely to be opened in 2025. The western suburbs is one of the fastest-growing regions in the country. This hospital will ensure we are keeping pace with the demands of our growing population, replacing the old Footscray Hospital, which was built in the 1950s. It will have an increase of nearly 200 beds, be able to treat almost 15 000 more patients a year and will be able to take in almost 20 000 extra emergency admissions a year. Importantly there will also be 2000 jobs created in the process, and all of them in the west. It will also complement the soon-to-be-completed $200 million Joan Kirner hospital in Sunshine and the $29.6 million expansion of the Sunshine Hospital emergency department. The Andrews Labor government is placing health services and outcomes as a key priority, and the west is set to receive the benefits of this through these state-of-the-art facilities. Last month Minister Mikakos hosted an industry forum, an important step in ensuring Labor secures a partner in this public-private project. Around 350 experts in major infrastructure learned how they can be part of the project. Labor will ensure that there is local involvement in this project by launching the community consultation committee later this month, feeding into the tender process which is due to start in mid-2019. It is good to see that the member for Footscray, Katie Hall, has been selected to lead this committee. She is a fierce advocate for her electorate and will ensure this process is inclusive and respectful. The action I seek of the minister is that the government ensure that existing local health services, relevant community groups and interested stakeholders are informed of this community consultation committee process to make sure that the voice of the community in the west is heard in the planning of this vital project.