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More police and new police stations

The Hodgman Liberal Government will take police numbers to the next level with new investment of $36.8 million in this years’ State Budget

We are committed to boosting police numbers by a further 125 sworn officers and embarking on a $10 million dollar build of new police stations.

Tasmania is a great place to live, work and build your future– and we’re committed to Keeping Tasmanians Safe.

The majority of the new police officers will be deployed to frontline duties at first-response main Police Stations and in regional and rural stations around the State to complement existing establishment levels.

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More support for ambulance services

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to supporting paramedics and volunteer ambulance officers and improving ambulance response times in Tasmania.

Ambulance services are so often the frontline of our health services, assisting Tasmanians everyday by being the first respondents in stressful and challenging situations.

We’ve already significantly increased ambulance services, but there’s more to do. This year’s Budget commences our six-year, $125 million plan to boost ambulance services by employing more paramedics, building better facilities and providing more training resources. These investments will save lives.

The Budget includes:

• $31.9 million for an entirely new aeromedical service. This is the centrepiece of our strong plan for ambulance services in Tasmania, and will be the first time the state has a dedicated aeromedical service. It is a giant step forward for our capacity to respond quickly to incidents in rural and remote parts of the state.
• $14.9 million for the progressive recruitment of 42 new rural and regional paramedics.
• Nearly $3 million to support 6 new staff members at the Statewide Operations Centre, which is in addition to the five staff already recruited.
• $12 million for the new Glenorchy and Burnie ambulance stations, plus approximately $5 million of the $15 million rural hospital and ambulance station upgrade fund.
• $800,000 per annum for the Volunteer Support Package, to support our volunteer paramedics by delivering improved coordination, training and recognition.

Importantly, $60 million of this new funding will be delivered within the first three years, enabling the recruitment of 56 new staff and the completion of important capital projects.

These investments will represent a record uplift in capacity, ensuring our service is safer, that paramedics are better able to respond with more support from volunteer ambulance officers, and that there is more paramedic presence in regional and rural communities.

Bigger hospitals, delivering more beds and employing more staff

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to continuing to improve Tasmania’s health system.

We are building on the significant progress already made in the past four years, opening more beds and employing more doctors, nurses and other health staff.

This Budget commences our six-year $757 million plan to build a better health system.

Over the next four years, we will recruit an estimated 478 full-time staff as part of our strong plan.

These vital staff will support a range of new services across Tasmania, building more capacity in our system and ensuring Tasmanians get the care they need sooner.

Our investments will boost the frontline by recruiting more doctors, more nurses, more paramedics and allied health workers, as well as more health support workers.

The Tasmanian Government is committed to investing in our health service, which we can only do because we have the Budget back under control and in surplus.

Importantly, this Budget begins the rollout of 298 brand new beds in our hospitals.

Over the next four years, 76 of these beds will be opened across the state, with the remaining new beds to be rolled out progressively as ward upgrades and redevelopments are completed. This continues our strong record of opening beds after the vicious years of health cuts from Labor and the Greens, which they arrogantly and dishonestly pretend didn’t happen.

We have reversed Labor’s cuts in our first term and are now making further investments to meet demand.

Health is a key priority for the Hodgman Liberal Government and that’s why we will continue to deliver more beds, more staff, and more frontline services.

Over $475 million to improve health and hospital infrastructure

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to delivering better health infrastructure for all Tasmanians.

The State Budget includes over $475 million to take health in this state to the next level.

Importantly, our capital upgrades includes almost $280 million to finalise the vital $689 million Royal Hobart Hospital redevelopment. The project remains on track for practical completion in mid-2019.

$162 million will deliver an infrastructure boost at all 4 of Tasmania’s major hospitals over the next 6 years. This includes:

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Calls for helipad construction tenders for Mersey Community Hospital

The Hodgman Liberal Government is delivering on our commitment to establish Tasmania’s first integrated medical and search and rescue helicopter service.

The construction tender for the new $1.5 million helipad at the Mersey Community Hospital is advertised in today’s paper.

The helipad will be located on site with a bridge link directly to the hospital.

For residents of the North-West, and most regional locations around Australia, aeromedical paramedic teams in helicopters are often the fastest means to provide emergency services.

This means every second counts, so this project is key infrastructure in the creation of a fast, high-acuity helicopter aeromedical retrieval network in Tasmania.

In the past, aeromedical teams arriving at the hospital to retrieve patients have had to land on a roundabout on the Bass Highway. This not only caused major traffic disruption but also raised serious safety issues at this busy location.

Construction is expected to begin in the coming weeks, once the tender is awarded.

The helipad at the North West Regional Hospital has been used 17 times since being commissioned. This should reassure the community that our plan to improve local health services is working and is helping save lives on the Coast.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to delivering the state’s first ever dedicated medical and search helicopter service, which will have dedicated flight paramedics and specialist retrieval doctors.

The construction of the helipad is a key step towards the establishment of Tasmania’s first integrated medical and search and rescue helicopter service.

Improving alcohol and drug rehabilitation treatment

The Hodgman Liberal Government is further taking action to respond to the needs of the community in tackling alcohol and drug addiction.

In tomorrow’s three daily newspapers, the Government is seeking submissions on our plan to increase the number of residential beds for people with an alcohol or drug dependence across the state by 30, meaning clients would be able to access residential services from anywhere in Tasmania.

This is a $6 million election commitment over three years, with funds to be made available to an organisation or organisations, and staffed by qualified and skilled personnel. This is the biggest increase in treatment that the State has ever funded.

It will provide a structured therapeutic residential rehabilitation environment 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to address alcohol or drug misuse or dependence issues, including support for families and carers.

The Tasmanian Government has a strong plan to develop an Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) sector that is better able to assist and support vulnerable Tasmanians in their time of need.

The Government is working to ensure the AOD sector is fully informed as we develop an Alcohol and Other Drugs Service System Framework for Tasmania together. This framework is being developed by the Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with the sector and Primary Health Tasmania, to guide service delivery into the future.

This commitment was part of a significant package taken to the election, with almost $10 million to bolster the AOD sector including:

  • $2.5 million to secure the 12 new residential rehabilitation beds in the North-West – established by the State Government in 2015 – for three additional years; and
  • $1 million for new community-based AOD supports and services.

Submissions from interested organisations to provide the additional 30 beds close on Friday, July 20.

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