Rally for new hospital

HUNDREDS turned out to rally for a new hospital in Swan Hill on Wednesday, but there was a noticeable absence of any Labor representation. 

Swan Hill Needs A New Hospital committee chair Les McPhee labelled the lack of appearance and acknowledgment of Labor MPs as "disappointing".

Hundreds gathered at the Swan Hill Needs A New Hospital campaign rally on Wednesday. Picture: PETER BANNAN

Hundreds gathered at the Swan Hill Needs A New Hospital campaign rally on Wednesday. Picture: PETER BANNAN

The Labor Party is currently in government. 

He also welcomed the appearance of coalition members and applauded the support of the local community. 

"We have a great range of people here from the young to the not so young, it is a great section of the Swan Hill community," he said. 

"Welcome to dignitaries and our local members, notably they are from the coalition.

"We have no Labor members here which is very disappointing, we have had an apology from the Health Minister Jill Hennessy, but that is the only Labor minister we have had."

Mr McPhee has led the charge as the community and committee members campaign for an upgrade to the local health service, with the building deemed "no longer fit for purpose". 

The rallying cry of the committee and committee members in attendance was "it's our turn now". 

Fed up with "piecemeal funding" for a hospital that services a catchment of 35,000, local medical professionals joined the public to call on the politicians in Spring Street to stand up and take notice. 

Member for Murray Plains and leader of the Victorian Nationals Peter Walsh was joined by fellow National party MP and representative for Northern Victoria Luke O'Sullivan. 

No funding commitments were made by Mr Walsh, if the Liberal-Nationals win the November election, but told the crowd Opposition Leader Matthew Guy would tour the hospital in the near future. 

Mr Walsh labelled the failure to appear by Labor members as a "slight" against Swan Hill. 

Members for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp and Jaclyn Symes have been contacted for comment. 

Full coverage in Friday's edition of The Guardian (August 17). 

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