By XAVIER SMERDON
THE stalemate between the State Government and Victorian ambulance paramedics would be ended under a Labor Government, the Opposition has declared.
Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said last week the Labor Party would end the dispute over pay immediately by referring the matter to an independent umpire to rule on.
“The way to fix our broken ambulance system is to end Denis Napthine’s war on paramedics,” Mr Andrews said.
“This dispute should be sent to the independent umpire now. If Denis Napthine won’t, then a Labor Government will.”
Shadow Health Minister Gavin Jennings also said the stalemate was putting people’s lives at risk.
“Under Denis Napthine, too many people are waiting too long for an ambulance and lives are at risk,” Mr Jennings said.
“We will work with our paramedics – we believe in co-operation, not condemnation.”
The Labor Party claimed in a statement that 27 per cent of ambulances were failing to reach emergency cases on time, nearly 25 per cent of ambulance transfers to hospitals were taking longer than 40 minutes and a 2013 survey showed that 1500 paramedics were planning on leaving the service in the next five years.
Last month, following a ballot held by the Ambulance Employees Australia union, it was announced that union members would be able to speak publicly about the pay dispute under protected action.
Star contacted the Health Minister David Davis’s office for comment but they did not respond before deadline.