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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Health, services and transport top concerns

Goulburn Valley residents have identified the issues that they most want to see addressed by political leaders during this year's federal election.

FIONA BROOM February 1, 2013 4:20am

Services for young people and migrants, public transport, roads and access to health care will be some of the issues the Goulburn Valley will focus on during this year’s federal election.

Goulburn Valley residents on the streets and via Facebook yesterday told The News what they saw as the big issues for the region.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard called an election for Saturday, September 14 in a surprise announcement on Wednesday.

The Labor leader said she wanted to avoid the ‘‘carry on’’ that usually arose from constant speculation of the likely date, setting up a record eight-month lead into the poll.

Goulburn Valley Health chief executive Kerryn Healy said the new Federal Government needed to address the need for the redevelopment of acute facilities at the hospital in Shepparton.

She said the acute facilities needed to meet the increasing demand for surgical and emergency services and address increasing pressure on medical beds.

Ms Healy said the Waranga Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home needed to be relocated to the Waranga Aged Care Hostel site.

‘‘The infrastructure of the Waranga Nursing Home is inappropriate as it is not purpose built and does not meet the current standards for residential aged care,’’ she said.

The Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District manager Chris Hazelman said Shepparton’s unique demographic profile as a destination point for migrants needed to be recognised.

He said Shepparton had been the leading regional area for new arrivals in Victoria for about four years.

‘‘We’re looking for attention from government to the infrastructure migrants, refugees and new arrivals want to access, such as basic things like health, education and a range of support services,’’ Mr Hazelman said.

‘‘They need enhanced access to English language training and an improved focus on providing appropriate interpreters.

‘‘They need to increase the level of expenditure on public infrastructure such as rail, the Goulburn Valley Hwy and public transport.’’

Mr Hazelman said older migrants also needed ethno-specific help accessing services, having paperwork explained to them and with food provided through programs.

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