News Blog, May 2: Increased demand for ambulances, slower response times; Household energy bonus announced

High demand: Code one calls from Greater Shepparton ambulances increased by 16%. Photo by Megan Fisher

The Shepparton News Blog is the region’s headline home.

Hello and Happy Monday,

Georgia Rossiter is behind the keyboard this Monday morning, bringing you the weekend’s news, as well as today’s headlines.

Expect a partly cloudy day today in Shepparton, with highs of 21 degrees.

UPDATE, 1 p.m.: Higher demand for ambulances but slower response

Code one calls for ambulances in the city of Greater Shepparton have increased by 16% since December last year, but response times have been slower as more paramedics join local branches.

Ambulance Victoria Hume Acting Regional Manager Narelle Capp said to help meet the increased demand, Ambulance Victoria has recruited 700 new paramedics.

Of 57 new graduate paramedics who started on May 2, 10 joined branches in the Hume area, including Mooroopna, Shepparton, Seymour, Benalla, Alexandra, Wallan, Wangaratta and Wodonga.

UPDATE, 11:45: Have you seen Lailah?

The police ask for help in finding missing girl Lailah.

A Victoria Police spokesperson said the 12-year-old was last seen at a Dookie address at around 1pm on Sunday May 1.

Police released a photo of Lailah to help locate her.

UPDATE, 11 a.m.: Energy bonuses announced

Electricity bonus: The Victorian Government has announced an electricity bonus for all households ahead of tomorrow’s Budget.

The Victorian Government has announced ahead of tomorrow’s budget that all households will receive what it variously calls a ‘$250 bill reduction bonus’ or an ‘energy saving bonus’ – choose whichever bonus you prefer .

Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said to qualify for the bonus, households need only visit Victoria’s Energy Compare website to find out if they can get a better energy deal than they already get.

Ms D’Ambrosio said people without internet access can call the Victorian Energy Compare helpline or seek help from a community outreach organisation.

UPDATE, 10:10 a.m.: JobSeeker rates hot topic for job seekers in Nicholls

One of the agencies behind a forum of candidates for Nicholls’ seat expressed disappointment at the lack of commitment from major parties to raise JobSeeker’s rate, writes journalist Murray Silby.

Family Care chief executive David Tennant welcomed the opportunity to hear the candidates’ views on issues that have deeply affected many residents of the Goulburn Valley.

“Some of the questions ran through areas that we do in our day-to-day work that are critically important to the clients we work with,” Tennant said.

“There are some things that disappointed me, but overall it’s been helpful for people to recognize how terribly hard it is to live on low income, especially if you’re relying on an income of services.”

Read the full story.

UPDATE, 9am: What you missed over the weekend

A coroner’s inquest into the death of Veronica Nelson, a First Nations woman, has begun.

The 37-year-old died in a cell at Dame Phyllis Frost Center early on January 2, 2020, from an undiagnosed medical condition after screaming in pain and calling for help nine times.

Darren Linton has the latest.

Victorian Nationals deputy leader Steph Ryan says additional high-speed services on the Shepparton line will remain a distant dream unless the Victorian budget on Tuesday May 3 invests in the rolling stock needed to deliver them.

“Incredibly, the Labor Party promised additional services on regional lines without even ordering the rolling stock required,” Ms Ryan said.

“The 2022-23 state budget must ensure that this order is fulfilled as soon as possible so that these trains can come online without further frustrating delays.”

Step in: Cartlon AFLW player Grace Egan joined Class A side Shepparton Swans on Saturday. Photo by James Kleeman

Many sports activities also take place in the area during the weekend. AFLW Carlton star Grace Egan bolstered the Shepparton Swans netball team on Saturday, Chris Nield led the show in Mooroopna’s win over Seymour, and much more, which you can find in the section Sports from our website.

A note from our editor

The daily news blog has been a way for our team to keep you up to date hour by hour in the midst of a global pandemic.

While the ongoing severity of the COVID-19 outbreak across the world should not be downplayed, the conversation has shifted from what we do “now” to what we do “next”.

The need for analysis, in-depth coverage and exclusive content outweighs the “breaking” nature of the news cycle, and with that comes the commitment of more resources to the daily blog.

This means that from Wednesday May 4, this content will resume its place behind our paywall. For full digital access, subscribe to our “welcome” package; it’s only $2 a week for 12 weeks Join | Shepparton News (

We loved having you with us as we explored a new way to deliver content directly to you – and we hope you’ll stay with us for the next leg of the journey.

Tyler Maher, Shepparton News Editor

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