Minister’s Statement

I rise to inform the house on the progress of the Andrews Labor government’s commitment to redevelop the Monash Medical Centre emergency department. It was a real pleasure to join the Premier, the member for Clarinda, Ms Taylor and other Labor members across the south-east in Clayton this past Sunday to officially mark the start of construction of what is an import investment for Melbourne’s growing south-eastern suburbs. The $76.3 million project will deliver an expanded emergency department, doubling the number of treatment spaces, and will also include a dedicated children’s emergency department as well as a separate mental health hub for patients with mental health and drug and alcohol-related issues. Once open in 2022 the bigger and better emergency department will allow an extra 46 000 emergency department presentations each year and will support 220 construction jobs at the peak of construction.

We know that emergency departments can be stressful and intimidating places for all of us but particularly for our littlest Victorians. This new children’s emergency department will reduce the anxiety for younger patients by creating an area for children separated from adult patients, providing a calmer, more compassionate and less clinical environment. I am sure it will be of a great deal of interest to members on this side of the house—and I can see Mr Davis and Ms Crozier are studiously avoiding what I am saying here, but they might be very interested to know—that when the Monash Children’s Hospital was being designed by the previous Liberal government they decided to cut the children’s emergency department from this project despite the huge numbers of children presenting to emergency. We stepped in and we provided funding for a children’s emergency department to ensure that sick kids can be treated more quickly. The children’s emergency department at the Monash will be one of seven that we will be building right across Victoria. We are building children’s emergency departments at Casey, Frankston, Geelong, Maroondah, the Northern and Sunshine. It is just one of the projects funded as part of the Labor government’s unprecedented $3.8 billion pipeline of hospital projects to ensure patients get the very best care when they need it most.