Parliament

HEALTH SECTOR WORKFORCE

I rise to update the house on the extra support our government is providing to support the mental health and wellbeing of our frontline health professionals.

COVID-19

I rise to update the house on the Victorian government’s very clear message to all Victorians to keep their health in check during the pandemic.

COVID-19

I rise to update the house that Victoria’s per capita testing rate for COVID-19 remains one of the highest in the world, with a testing rate of 9050 per 100 000 people.

COVID-19

I rise to update the house on the innovation shown by our health services in continuing to provide the very best care to Victorians during this pandemic. Our hospitals are leading the way in the fight against coronavirus, using innovative technologies to care for patients, to protect staff and to save lives. More than 50 000 telehealth calls have been made on the Victorian government telehealth platform since 30 March 2020.

COVID-19

I rise to update the house on the investment our government is making to find, isolate and slow the spread of coronavirus across our state. The government has already invested $37 million to increase surveillance, allowing for more targeted case identification, contact tracing, isolation advice and confirmation of individuals who are no longer infectious. This $37 million boost has given the contact tracing team, which is now more than 1000 strong—the disease detectives—the ability to undertake contact tracing and to slow the spread of this virus.

COVID-19

Acting on advice from the chief health officer that there is a continued serious and potentially catastrophic risk to public health arising from COVID-19, I have extended the state of emergency until 11.59 pm on 21 June 2020. This extension will ensure the government can continue its enforcement of physical distancing, quarantine and isolation requirements, as well as other vital legal directions designed to flatten the curve of coronavirus to protect our health system and to save lives.

COVID-19

Acting on advice from the chief health officer that there is a continued serious and potentially catastrophic risk to public health arising from COVID-19, I have extended the state of emergency until midnight, 11 May 2020.

COVID-19

This morning the Premier and I announced a $437 million health funding boost as part of the next stage of our health response to COVID-19, and this is on top of the $100 million COVID-19 package we announced on Sunday, bringing us to a $537 million investment to date. This funding will support an additional 45 000 emergency department presentations, 5000 hospital admissions and a further 2000 intensive care unit admissions over the next three months. It also includes bringing more beds online for the pandemic at the new Casey Hospital, at the old Peter Mac hospital and at Bendigo Health—a total of 269 additional new beds so far. Baxter House will be recommissioned to keep regional Victorians safe, with new consulting rooms and treatment spaces at Barwon Health.

COVID-19

I rise to update the house on our continued measures to contain COVID-19. As I have said many times in this house, this is an evolving situation, but we will not hesitate to take the measures necessary to slow the spread of this virus. Last night the national cabinet, comprising the Prime Minister, our Premier and all first ministers, considered the latest advice of our health experts on what more can be done to flatten the curve and to keep Australians safe and healthy.

COVID-19

Acting on advice from the chief health officer that there was a serious and potentially catastrophic risk to public health arising from COVID-19, yesterday I declared a state of emergency throughout Victoria under section 198 of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008.

AMBULANCE SERVICES

I rise to inform the house of how the Andrews Labor government continues to support and grow Victoria’s world-class ambulance services.

COVID-19

I rise to advise the house of the Andrews Labor government’s continued efforts in responding to COVID-19. I was very proud to stand with the Premier this morning at the world-leading Doherty Institute, where the first replication of the COVID-19 virus took place.

VOLUNTARY ASSISTED DYING

I rise to update the house on the first six months of Victoria’s historic voluntary assisted dying laws. I want to thank the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board, chaired by Her Honour Betty King, for their hard work and great care in producing the board’s second report, tabled in this Parliament yesterday. These nation-leading laws are giving Victorians with an incurable illness a compassionate choice over the timing and manner of their death and relief from their suffering.

AMBULANCE SERVICES

I rise to inform the house of the government’s continued investment in Victoria’s ambulance services. Earlier this month the first upgraded dual-crew service commenced in the northern Victorian town of Rochester.

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS

I rise to update the house on how the Andrews Labor government is taking every measure to ensure that the Victorian community is kept safe and informed with the latest information following the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak.

BUSHFIRE RECOVERY INITIATIVES

I rise to inform the house of how the Andrews Labor government is supporting the health and wellbeing of Victorians impacted by our recent bushfires. There is no greater priority to our government than supporting our communities through the bushfire season and on the long road to recovery.

Condolences – Bushfires

Whilst this summer’s bushfire season is not yet over and fires continue to ravage the landscape, I want to acknowledge the significant impact of this season’s devastating bushfires. I want to pay my respects to the families of the five people who lost their lives in Victoria and the 29 people who lost their lives in New South Wales, the ACT and South Australia. I express my deepest condolences to their families and their friends.