Local ambo response

I WISH to reply to some of the conversation which has circulated in your paper regarding the potential acquisition of land adjacent to the Gippsland Vehicle Collection by Ambulance Victoria.

While there has been a level of accuracy to the reporting, there is an emotional element which is being purveyed which is not at all helpful or informative in this situation.

The facts:

There have been numerous public outcries regarding the provision of ambulance services to the Maffra district over the past several years, this culminated in Ambulance Victoria providing an additional seven paramedics taking our total staff number to 10 thus creating a is full time 24-hour advanced life support ambulance for our community.

As a consequence we have unfortunately outgrown the CFA premises we share in Johnson St.

To alleviate this situation, AV has looked extensively over the last two years to acquire a suitable parcel of land which will accommodate our extended staff at Maffra.

We are continuing to do this to develop the best possible asset for our staff and the community at large.

This is not an easy task and a suitable site has proven most difficult to find.

With regard to the vacant block of VicTrack land in question, AV is continuing to perform our due diligence to ascertain the suitability of this property for ambulance use.

AV has, and will continue to consult with affected stakeholders to ensure a suitable outcome for all.

AV has agreed to work with GVC if it eventually purchases this property, it will design a building which will be sympathetic to the surrounding buildings. Further to this, AV, as a good corporate neighbour, will ensure as much as possible to not obscure the existing visual effect of the GVC’s building.

There is considerable hype regarding community ‘outrage’ and the development of a petition which will only serve to alienate and marginalise this discussion as AV has always been open to discuss concerns with affected stakeholders.

The Gippsland AV management team will gladly meet with Maffra residents if and when the site is deemed suitable for ambulance purposes. At this point this has not been established.

In closing, I must acknowledge that the Gippsland Vehicle Collection is a fantastic organisation and asset for the Wellington Shire.

Likewise, the ambulance service has an important role within our community and the provision of this vital service from a suitable site is in the best interests of all Maffra and district residents and others who enjoy our hospitality.