It’s been a busy month in Footscray. We’ve had great funding announcements, the opening of the Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and even a couple of visits from the Premier. There’s lots going on – but I wanted to provide an update on the investment happening in local health services.

    The Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital is officially open for business, and it was so thrilling to be at the opening of the $200 million world class hospital.

    The Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s will mean families in Melbourne’s west can get the care they need, closer to home and will feature the western suburbs’ first ever neonatal intensive care unit, to care for the most critically ill babies. Residents of the west shouldn’t have to travel to the city to get world-class healthcare, and now they won’t have to.

    Work is also underway on Footscray’s $1.5 billion new hospital. Applications have now closed for the Community Consultative Committee that I will be Chairing, and I can’t wait for that work to commence so we can maximise the benefit for the community of this enormous investment.

    There’s also wonderful news for Tweddle Child and Family Services, which has a long history of serving families in Footscray. One hundred years of it, in fact. When it first started, it opened as the Tweddle Hospital for Babies and School of Mothercraft, caring for some of the most vulnerable, abandoned babies. A small group of individuals came together, determined to do something about the infant mortality figures, inspired by New Zealand’s example of baby care training.

    Many people within our community know Tweddle as a sleep school, providing much needed respite to parents in need of support. However, their support services run much deeper.

    Every year their specialised team of maternal and child health nurses, social workers, and early parenting professionals, provide support to over 4,000 families facing parenting challenges.

    Even a healthy and happy new baby can place huge stress on families, turning those crucial first weeks and months into a stressful and traumatic period, rather than a joyous and exciting one.

    These early stages are crucial to infant development, and to creating a happy and healthy family dynamic.

    The Andrews Government recognises the incredible work that Tweddle does, which is why it’s investing $9 million to upgrade and rebuild the aging facilities, so that Tweddle can continue doing its crucial work for another 100 years.

    This is part of the largest investment into parenting support ever provided, with seven new centres just like Tweddle to be built across Victoria.

    (Funded from Parliamentary Budget)

    State Premier Daniel Andrews and Katie Hall MP for Footscray at the recent Tweddle Hospital for Babies and School of Mothercraft, opening



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