The Nationals have today announced a plan to build Australia’s first dedicated infectious diseases response centre if elected to government in coalition with the Liberals next year.
The proposal includes the funding of up to 100 negative pressure beds, a further 300 specialist nurses and the establishment of an advisory panel of experts to oversee the implementation of the project.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Nationals Leader Steph Ryan said the measures were important to ensure the state was better prepared should there ever be another pandemic.
“A new infectious diseases response centre will prepare Victoria to deal with any future outbreaks of disease,” Ms Ryan said.
“It will give people peace of mind that the state is better equipped to manage infectious diseases like COVID.
“Victoria was not prepared for this outbreak. We saw botched contact tracing, outbreaks from hotel quarantine and critical shortages of personal protective equipment.
The Andrews Government’s complete mismanagement of the pandemic has left Victoria with more deaths, more cases, more jobs lost and more days in lockdown than any other state.
“As a former Health Minister, Daniel Andrews would have been well aware how unprepared Victoria was for this pandemic.
“Our health system has been decimated due to this government’s failures, leading to extreme elective surgery waitlists and the clear neglect of preventative health measures like breast screening.”
Ms Ryan said the proposed infectious disease response centre would provide confidence that the same mistakes would not be made again.
“Lockdowns have destroyed business and industry confidence because the state was equipped to manage disease outbreaks,” Ms Ryan said.
“This is not just about the health system, it’s about giving Victorians the confidence to buy a home, start a business and care for their family without constantly fretting about government overreach.
“As a state, we need to recover and rebuild. This is a mature and sensible step to add another layer of protection to our arsenal in order to reduce the impact of future outbreaks of disease.”