Shorten pledges $2m Sunbury child health hub

Bill Shorten visits Sunbury Community Health Centre. Picture: Shawn Smits.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has promised McEwen voters better access to child health and early intervention services under a Labor government, announcing $2 million for a child health hub at Sunbury Community Health.

Visiting the Macedon Street health centre with McEwen MP Rob Mitchell on Saturday, Mr Shorten said the new facility would bring together paediatric assessment, audiology, speech, occupational therapy and physiotherapy services.

Parents will also have access to an onsite paediatrician and early intervention services for children with disabilities, developmental delays and autism.

NDIS-funded services will also be available for eligible children, along with access to family supports and parenting groups.

Outside support will be provided to childcare centres and primary schools.

‘‘Sunbury is a fast-growing urban area with a large number of young families, and infrastructure is not keeping up,’’ Mr Shorten said.

‘‘The child health hub will mean families don’t miss out on the services they need for their kids, and stop them having to travel into Melbourne for help which will take pressure off these services.’’

SCH’s existing early childhood programs help about 600 children every week.

Gatecrash backfires 

Meanwhile, the Liberal candidate for McEwen’s bid to gatecrash Mr Shorten’s announcement has backfired spectacularly with a car-crash media interview.

Chris Jermyn found himself unable to articulate the Coalition’s health policies before declaring his hatred for journalists and beating a hasty retreat.

Mr Jermyn showed up at Mr Shorten’s event at the Sunbury Community Health Centre. Mr Shorten shook his hand on his way in, joking that at least he was getting to see one leader this election.

But in what’s being billed as a “Jaymes Diaz moment” – referring to a Liberal candidate who was famously unable to outline his party’s position on border protection at the 2013 election – Mr Jermyn was at a loss to explain Coalition policy in an interview.

with The Age