Deputy Premier grants Iluka's Christmas wish
WHEN do the Iluka community want a new ambulance station?
"NOW!” they shouted in a 300-strong unison at Deputy Premier John Barilaro, as he fronted a community meeting at the Iluka Bowling Club yesterday.
And while he didn't arrive with chequebook in hand, he came to listen, and with a promise.
"I'll make you this commitment, I'll come back before Christmas - this won't drag on, you've done the work,” he said to the applause of the room
"I'll face this community one way or the other, and I hope it'll go your way otherwise you guys will lynch me.”
The crowd, which spilled out of the auditorium of the club, recounted story after story of delays and frustrations with the lack of ambulance service for the town.
Cr Karen Toms told the crowd of an incident where at her caravan park they were forced to wait for an ambulance for more than an hour who had fainted and had a large gash to his head and was incoherent.
"That's just one, there are many more... and it's very, very distressing” she said.
Mr Barilaro said that he had fought a similar fight in his own electorate, and said he would go back and push back on the information he was getting from Ambulance NSW and the Health Minister.
"It's clear there is a need, and it is a part of the world we need to service, and my mantra is that every corner of NSW needs their share... and honestly it's a service I think you are justified in asking for,” he said.
"It's a significant petition of 10,000 signatures... well done to everybody, and when you get this ambulance station commitment, not only will it be a commitment but we'll get on and build it and deliver it and make sure you get what you deserve.”
The meeting came after Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis invited Mr Barilaro to hear from the community following the advocacy of the Iluka Ambulance Action Group, headed by John and Ann McLean.
"John (Barilaro) is a man of his word. When he makes a promise you can be guaranteed he will keep it, as was shown earlier this year with the plight of the unpaid Pacific Highway subbies,” Mr Gulaptis said.
MONDAY: "We won't stop now”: The fight goes on for Iluka Ambulance Action Group's dynamic duo.