Ambulance branch announced, not approved

THE state government still hasn't lodged a planning application for Creswick's ambulance station four months after turning the first sod to mark the beginning of construction.

Ambulance Victoria needed planning permission from the Hepburn Shire Council to build an ambulance branch on the residential-zoned site when Health Minister David Davis turned the first sod at the White Street site on August 1 

Then, Mr Davis said the submission for planning would be given to the Hepburn Shire Council in coming weeks. 

But this morning the council confirmed no planning application had been lodged for the project to date.

Ambulance Employees Australia general secretary Steve McGhie also said he had not been briefed by Ambulance Victoria on the project.

"There hasn't been anything approved by the council," he said.

"Even if they had things ticked off today it will take six months at a minimum for that to be completed."

Housing five paramedics and two vehicles, the station would service 17,000 people in and around Creswick and Clunes.

Mr McGhie said it filled a service "blind spot" north of Ballarat.

Ballarat's only other branches are Central, Wendouree and Sebastopol.

"The next closest branches from there are Daylesford and Ballan," Mr McGhie said.

"It's a bit of a black hole in that area, in terms of responding."

The Courier has contacted the office of David Davis for a response.

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