Ms RYALL (Ringwood) — It is a tremendous let‑down to the residents of my electorate of Ringwood to learn that the Andrews government will not contribute the required funding to develop the necessary car parking facilities at Maroondah Hospital.
The parking situation has been in crisis, with there having been no commitment for over two years of any funding and no commitment to address the car parking circumstances. People circle the block constantly, desperately trying to locate a suitable car park.
The $10 million that is required to build the car park has to be borrowed by Eastern Health from the government and repaid with interest. They are funds that will not be used for healthcare for patients in our community. The costs have been kept lower for patients, visitors and families because Eastern Health have managed their own car parking rather than outsourcing their management. Having to borrow $10 million and repay that over time with interest is expected to increase the parking costs to people.
Cost of living is already a major concern for households with rising bills, especially power with the closure of the Hazelwood power station championed by the Andrews government. This added cost is just another assault on the household budget, particularly at a time when people are already under pressure and stress due to illness.