THE Victorian Government has refused to commit to providing more funding to country hospitals facing skyrocketing power bills.
In parliament on August 23, Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio would not guarantee additional energy costs at country hospitals – expected to be worth about $2 million in western Victoria alone – would be covered.
Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh condemned the minister for abandoning country hospitals, just months after the government failed to stop the closure of Hazelwood Power Station and the loss of 22 per cent of the state’s baseload power.
“Regional hospitals deliver a vital service to our country communities, but the Andrews Labor Government has turned its back on us,” Mr Walsh said.
“Daniel Andrews was wrong when he said power bills would only go up about four per cent after he let Hazelwood close.
“Rising energy bills add more strain to country hospital budgets that are already stretched thin and it is up to Daniel Andrews to increase funding and make sure regional health services aren’t cut as a result.”