Media Release

30 November 2016

Wooldridge: Thunderstorm Asthma – Communications Failure

Wednesday 30 November 2016

Thunderstorm Asthma – Communications Failure

Eight people are now tragically confirmed dead, and one is still in intensive care after the Thunderstorm Asthma event last week.  Our thoughts are with all the families affected by this emergency.

On the day and in the week following, there has been exceptional care provided by paramedics and health professionals in very challenging circumstances.

However, Daniel Andrews and Jill Hennessy continue to avoid answering basic questions about what else could have and should have been done, instead relying on a drawn-out review, which won’t report till late April.

At least two families whose loved one has died as a result of the asthma event have said they would have driven directly to Hospital if they had known how long the wait for an ambulance would have been.

These can be life and death situations, and the communication failures to the media, the public and directly to those in need must be quickly rectified.

It is unacceptable that Daniel Andrews’ review into the Thunderstorm Asthma event will take over five months.

Two recent emergency reviews, into the Wye River and Lancefield fires, have only taken 6 to 7 weeks between commencing and concluding, including a full Government response.

The fire season is upon us and another type of emergency could be just around the corner.

Victorians need to know from Daniel Andrews that when life and death emergencies occur, we can be confident our emergency response will be comprehensive, swift and effective.