Ms WOOLDRIDGE (Eastern Metropolitan) — I am very pleased to be able to speak today on the new Bendigo Hospital and how proud we are as the Liberal and National parties of the new hospital that has been opened successfully. It was completed in 2016, as the coalition promised, and it has been opened and is well underway. Many people — the management, the staff, many people in the department — have worked exceptionally hard on this project over many years, and I want to congratulate them on what is a fabulous facility for the Loddon Mallee and particularly people in Bendigo.
I do want to acknowledge Diana Badcock for her work with the medical community engagement and also Rob Blum, who worked so hard on the new cancer centre. We do know of course that the cancer centre would not have existed if the Liberals and Nationals did not commit to it. We made a commitment of an additional $100 million that meant that the new Bendigo Hospital would not only be a new hospital but would have additional beds, a mother and baby unit — something I am very proud of — an integrated cancer centre and new educational facilities. So this new Bendigo Hospital is world class because of the additional $100 million commitment, and it has realised that full potential.
I was very pleased to be at the foundation dinner. Unfortunately no ALP members were present. What we did see consistently from Jacinta Allan and Maree Edwards in the other place is that they were naysayers who said it would not be delivered, it would not be good enough and the cancer centre was not needed. Well, the new Bendigo Hospital is world class, and it will make a real difference to the community of northern Victoria.