Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (18:04): My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Health, and it is in regard to the establishment of a new hospital in Melton. Melton is one of the fastest growing localities in my electorate of Western Victoria, and naturally population growth demands greater public services. In a recent meeting with members of the Melton council we discussed the recent study that was undertaken by the West of Melbourne Economic Development Alliance. The report published by WoMEDA details how Melton already needs a 250-bed hospital and how the need will double by 2035. Additionally, the construction of a new hospital in Melton will help address both an urgent health need and a growing unemployment challenge. ADJOURNMENT 80 Legislative Council- PROOF Wednesday, 28 October 2020 Employment and underemployment are significant issues in the Melton area. Using the 2016 census data I note that unemployment in Melton was more than 1 percentage point above the Victorian average at 7.6 per cent versus 6.8 per cent. COVID-19 may have also increased this gap in recent times. The desired placement of this new hospital is to be located close to the Cobblebank Metropolitan Activity Centre to maximise the employment spillovers. It is expected that 375 jobs will be created during the construction phase of the new hospital, with some 2250 ongoing roles by 2035. Importantly—

Ms Maxwell: How many?

Mr GRIMLEY: That was 2250 ongoing by 2035—just clarifying the importance of why we desperately need this. Importantly this will add at least $300 million to the local economy by 2035. That is $300 million. Minister, given that the construction of the new hospital in Melton responds to both an urgent health need and a long-term economic need, the action that I seek is for the state government to commit to at least purchasing the land for this prospective hospital campus in the upcoming state budget.