COLAC’S political leaders are still undecided whether they will face the community at a meeting to discuss Colac’s hospital crisis.
Both Member for Polwarth Terry Mulder and Member for Corangamite Darren Cheeseman yesterday failed to commit to attending Tuesday night’s meeting.
The meeting will address the community on the demise of Colac Area Health’s urgent care service between 10pm and 7am from February 1, due to Federal Government funding shortages.
Mr Mulder said a state cabinet meeting at Creswick could prevent him from attending the meeting, which is at Colac Otway Performing Arts and Cultural Centre.
“I’m waiting to see the outcome of the discussions that Colac Area Health have with the doctors and whether or not they’re in a position to make an announcement to give some comfort to the community,” the State Transport Minister said.
“I’d like to be able to be there,” he said.
Member for Corangamite Darren Cheeseman said he was awaiting more details about the structure and agenda of the meeting but he expected to be available and would confirm if he would attend before Monday.
Colac Area Health and community lobbyist Laura Cook organised the meeting.
CAH chief Geoff Iles said Colac Otway Shire council mayor Lyn Russell would chair the information session, which he said was an opportunity for the community to understand what the change meant and why it was necessary.
“In particular to alleviate concerns for those who may be faced with a critical life-threatening condition; how these circumstances will be responded to,” Mr Iles said.
“I’m particularly looking forward to meeting with Darren Cheeseman and discussing how the changes could be responded to by his government; we have to now look to establishing a solution that is acceptable to all,” he said.
Ms Cook said she had invited Mr Mulder, Mr Cheeseman, Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek, State Health Minister David Davis and Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu to the meeting by phone and email but had received no responses.
Ms Cook said it was “imperative” that at least Mr Mulder and Mr Cheeseman attended the meeting. “I think the whole Colac community would be extremely disappointed if they didn’t come,” Ms Cook said.