Health Minister Jillian Skinner said the start of work at Kogarah marks a milestone in the Baird Government’s $150 million commitment to build five new super ambulance stations in greater metropolitan Sydney.
Mrs Skinner was joined on-site today by NSW Ambulance Commissioner Ray Creen, local MPs Mark Coure (Oatley) and John Flowers (Rockdale) as well as Liberal candidate for Kogarah Nick Aroney to watch the start of demolition.
“A major ambulance station has not been built in Sydney for over 16 years and the Baird Government is getting on with the job of delivering this vital support for our hard-working paramedics,” Mrs Skinner said.
“The new super station at Kogarah will be a game-changer for NSW Ambulance. It is anticipated to house up to 20 ambulances – much more than current stations hold.
“The super station has been designed to ensure paramedics are in the right place to get to patients as quickly as possible.
“I have no doubt the location and access to major roads will improve response times for patients while also giving our dedicated paramedics a better base from which to deliver their life-saving work.”
Mr Coure said: “A new ambulance station for this region is long overdue and well-deserved. I know it will have far-reaching benefits for our community and local paramedics who will soon have a state-of-the-art workplace.”
Mr Flowers said: “I have the utmost respect for paramedics – they undertake extraordinary work each and every day. I’m pleased the Baird Government is investing to give them the resources they need and deserve.”
Commissioner Creen said the Sydney Ambulance Metropolitan Infrastructure Strategy (SAMIS) has been developed to build ambulance stations of the future.
“The super station concept gives us the capacity to better align our paramedics and our vehicles to meet patient activity and demand. It will ensure we get the right treatment, to the right patient, at the right time, in the right way – every time,” Commissioner Creen said.
“These buildings will provide a platform from which NSW Ambulance can deliver an even more improved service to our patients.”
Mrs Skinner said the Baird Government committed $24.5 million in the 2014/15 Budget to start the construction of five new ambulance stations in greater metropolitan Sydney.
“The funding enables construction to start on the five priority stations – here at Kogarah as well as Bankstown, Blacktown, Liverpool and Penrith. It will also allow the purchase of additional sites for future ambulance stations,” Mrs Skinner said.
“In the last year alone, the NSW Government has increased the NSW Ambulance budget by $30 million to a record $753 million. Paramedic numbers have increased by 205 staff to 3,435 paramedics since the March 2011 election (full-time equivalent as at June 2014).
“During its 16 years in government, Labor did nothing to future-proof our ambulance services. In stark contrast, the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will continue to invest in NSW Ambulance infrastructure and our professional paramedics, who deliver expert, out-of-hospital care to the people of NSW.”
Mrs Skinner said the super stations will be developed as the five-year program rolls out. Main works construction is expected to begin on the five priority sites later this year.