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Council Backs Hospital Pleas for Funding

21 October 2022

Southern Grampians Shire Council is throwing its support behind Western District Health Service and its push to the State Government for much needed funding for the Hamilton Base Hospital.

Mayor Cr Bruach Colliton, who has been in conversation with Chief Executive Rohan Fitzgerald to offer his support, following the release of an advocacy campaign this week, and says the State Government is failing residents of Southern Grampians shire.

“We want the Chief Executive and all staff at the Hamilton Base Hospital to know that Council is behind them 100%. The health and safety of our residents is of paramount importance, and it is just not good enough that yet again, residents of Southern Grampians Shire are feeling ignored by the State Government on funding needs for critical major infrastructure,” Cr Colliton said.

“Myself and my fellow councillors have spent a considerable amount of time over the last 12-18 months, knocking on doors in both Canberra and Spring Street on behalf of our region, pleading our case for funding to address major issues across the shire, including the hospital.

“Our Shire has urgent needs and service gaps that are creating significant disadvantage in our community. We cannot address these alone and need the support of the Victorian Government. They have a crucial role to play in ensuring the people of the Southern Grampians have access to health care and transport links which provide connectivity for health care and prevent social marginalisation.

“Quite frankly, we’re fed up with being taken for granted,” said Cr Colliton.

“There are significant gaps in the public transport services to our region compared to other regional centres. Other comparable Shires in Victoria have many more daily services per day during the week, compared to Southern Grampians.

“Our arterial roads have substantial degradation and are becoming increasingly dangerous as well. The Glenelg Highway, Henty Highway, Hamilton Highway and the Coleraine-Edenhope Road have been without appropriate upgrade works for several years and yet the heavy vehicle volumes are increasing, resulting in unsafe and almost undriveable roads. We hear endless complaints about these roads from residents but our pleas for sufficient funding to address what is systemic failure are ignored,” Cr Colliton continued.

“Residents of the Southern Grampians Shire deserve access to quality health care, frequent and safe public transport options and a safe road network to enable them equitable access to medical appointments, education, and employment opportunities.

“We’re calling on the State Government to stop ignoring Southern Grampians – the needs of Shire residents simply are not being met and a commitment to improved services to the region is long overdue.

“We share an unwavering commitment as a Council to building a better community and we’ll continue to advocate for these priority projects until we get the funding we need,” Cr Colliton concluded.

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