To the Editor,

The Daylesford Hospital Upgrade Community Campaign thanks all of those active members of our community who care about making things better for our current and future generations and who have worked so hard over the past 12 months leading up to the state election to get the Daylesford Health Masterplan (which the community funded to the tune of $100,000) a reality.

Support has come from many of our local businesses, community groups, medical groups and individuals to fund the Masterplan and actively support the campaign. Thank you in particular to Springs Medical Centre, Daylesford Rotary and the Daylesford Community Bank. The Community Bank supported the funding of the Masterplan and their commitment of $750,000 should the incoming state government choose to fund the Masterplan, remains live for this financial year.

Advocacy for the heath service upgrade remains part of the Hepburn Shire Council Plan with Councillors and officers recognizing its importance for the future health, social and economic prosperity of the region. Recognizing this, the campaign received support from across the political spectrum,  namely the Liberal Party, the Justice Party and the Greens. This broad recognition of the importance of and need for adequate local health infrastructure is heartening.

The Daylesford Historical Society created an informative exhibition for the 160th Anniversary of the hospital. That well-curated exhibition clearly showed how important the hospital and health precinct has been and still is for the health and well-being of our community.

There has been increased gratitude for the hard working staff at Daylesford Health, the management and board of Central Highlands Health for their dedicated efforts to keep us well at all times, and especially in the last couple of years with the additional complexity of managing COVID requirements. That they continue to do so whilst also coping with languishing buildings and infrastructure is evidence of their commitment to the community. Thank you.

The 2022 state election is over but the need for the Daylesford Health precinct infrastructure upgrade remains. The community knows it, the staff knows it, residents of aged care and their families know it, inpatients know it and so do the community health service users. The Community Campaign will, over summer, review what the next steps are to help achieve an upgrade.

Finally, congratulations to Minister Mary-Anne Thomas MP on her re-election as our Member for Macedon. The result reflects an acknowledgement of the work she has done since 2014 representing our electorate. The Daylesford Hospital is now well positioned to continue growing and improving given the wonderful blueprint for the Master Plan and the Government’s $4.5M upgrade for the operating theatre. There remains a possible future opportunity to further invest in our hospital and to continue delivering for Macedon.

Lesley Hewitt
Deputy Mayor, Councillor – Birch Ward