Vic Libs pledge $125m for triple-zero fix

·2-min read

Victoria's opposition has promised to pour an extra $125 million into the state's triple-zero system, as Liberal Leader Matthew Guy faced questions over how much the coalition is actually pledging towards health at the upcoming state election.

The extra funds would be used to upgrade IT, deliver extra staff training and recruit more frontline workers.

The $125m would be in addition to the $330m already allocated to overhaul the system in the 2022-23 budget.

The opposition previously said it would scrap part of the Suburban Rail Loop project and redirect $35 billion earmarked for it towards the health system if it won government.

"This November, Victorians have a clear choice - a triple-zero service that works, or a train line from Cheltenham to Box Hill in 13 years' time," Victorian Liberal leader Matthew Guy said.

Mr Guy hit back at suggestions the Coalition had so far pledged $11b on health spending, saying it had instead committed between $5b and $6b.

Confusion over the total figure arose after it was revealed last month Nationals leader Peter Walsh claimed $8b would be injected into regional healthcare.

"What I will also say is of the monies we've committed, the vast majority of it is actually outside of Melbourne," Mr Guy told reporters on Friday.

Suburban Rail Loop Minister Jacinta Allan said only $1.4b was allocated for the major project in the next term of government.

The coalition's triple-zero boost came after a report by Victoria's inspector-general for emergency management linked 33 deaths to ambulance call delays.

The report found the Victorian government was aware the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) was in a precarious financial position as early as 2015.

Victorian government spokesman Danny Pearson said the state was already investing in triple zero and almost 93 per cent of calls to the service in August were answered within five seconds.

"We've worked with ESTA every step of the way to give them the support that they need," Mr Pearson told reporters on Friday.

"It's why we provided funding in May of this year of $330 million extra. We're employing 400 additional call takers."

On Friday the government announced free TAFE courses in emergency health care, family violence, mental health and agriculture in 2023.