The Australian Paramedics Association (NSW) has supported the local community in its bid to secure a commitment from the State Government to build an ambulance station at Iluka in Northern NSW.
APA (NSW) has welcomed the fact that NSW Ambulance has indicated any new station will be manned by paid, registered paramedics.
APA executive member Tim McEwen said while it would be a positive step if a station were to be built at Iluka, there would be no additional staff allocated to the region.
“NSW Ambulance has told unions representing paramedics that any new stations that commence operations within the next three years (like Pottsville and hopefully Iluka) will be staffed by 12 paramedics on a 24 hour basis but have to have their staffing drawn from paramedics already allocated to enhance numbers across the region,” Mr McEwen said.
“This makes it seem that the enhancements that NSW Ambulance are getting is bypassing Northern NSW altogether and this is unacceptable. Regional NSW has significant needs and these seem to be not being addressed by NSWA and the current State Government,” he said.
“So that would potentially mean taking paramedics intended for existing stations at Yamba, Casino, Byron Bay, Kingscliff, Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads, why would that be acceptable in any other region.”
“But at this point we are uncertain about if or when a new station will be built at Iluka because there appears to be no planning underway within NSW Ambulance or Health Infrastructure. APA (NSW) are calling on NSWA and local parliamentarians to keep the public engaged in what is a real need in the community.”
“If a firm decision has been taken to build an ambulance station at Iluka planning would already be underway, as it is for new stations at Pottsville, Coffs Harbour and Bungendore, near Canberra.”