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Thursday, 11 May, 2017 Page 11

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Endeavour Hills paramedic Kerry Moody and Luke Donnellan.

Ambos quick to show up By Cam Lucadou-Wells and Victoria Stone-Meadows Ambulance response times in Casey have been repaired due to “record investment” and reforms, says Narre Warren North MP Luke Donnellan. In Casey, 84.1 per cent of ambulances arrive within 15 minutes for Code One emergencies - up from 80.5 per cent a year ago, according to official performance data. The average waiting time for an ambulance to a Code One emergency in Casey has dropped from just over 12 minutes to 11 minutes, 28 seconds. “Families across Casey can have peace of mind that paramedics are now responding even quicker to medical emer-

gencies, where every second counts,” Mr Donnellan said. The 2017-'18 State Budget includes $26.5 million - on top of the government’s $500 million plan to improve response time including the employment of 450 more paramedics. According to the State Government, ambulance response times are at their swiftest since 2010. At the height of an “ambulance crisis” during the previous Liberal Government’s term in 2012-'13, only 73 per cent of Code One response times were less than the 15-minute benchmark. Now, 80 per cent are meeting the benchmark, the government claims.

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The state opposition claim that the government has manipulated data by attending fewer urgent cases. Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said the government had “changed the rules around what is a Code One response time and lo and behold they got the best response times in seven years”. “If I say the goal square is now four times wide and where I was previously kicking it out of bounds I am now kicking a goal, then sure, that works. “It shows the government is more interested in spin than it is people’s health which is what ambulance response times are linked to.”

Strugnell told the court that Tzoumanekas had been living with an undiagnosed major depressive disorder for 20 years. His condition - which sometimes caused him to lock himself away at home for weeks at a time, had only been diagnosed a week ago, Ms Strugnell said. Tzoumanekas was unmedicated and hadn’t received formal drug counselling, the court heard. Magistrate Jack Vandersteen said there was no point putting Tzoumanekas on correctionsorder conditions such as unpaid work. “If you’re struggling with depression, there’s no point putting you on an order you can’t comply with.” Mr Vandersteen noted Tzoumanekas had not been convicted for more than 20 years and was likely to stay out of trouble. “It’s important that you engage in some treatment.” The accused was bailed for sentencing on 17 August.

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A man who pleaded guilty to being involved in $64,000-plus commercial burglaries of bikes and guitars has been put on a community corrections order. Andrea Tzoumanekas, of Dandenong North, claimed he had only ever met his two co-offenders in Brandon Park shopping centre car park on the night of the burglaries, Dandenong Magistrates’ Court heard. After smoking ice together, the three of them travelled in a silver Ford sedan with a flatbed trailer and side-cage to four businesses in the early hours of 11 November 2015. First there was a $54 petrol drive-off at an Officer servo, where Tzoumanekas was observed wearing a fluoro highvisibility jacket and pants. An hour later, the group broke into Billy Hyde’s Music in Blackburn and stole 10 guitars valued at $18,928. The group unsuccessfully attempted to bash in the front

door of a shop in Whitehorse Road, Mitcham minutes later. Still before dawn, Tzoumanekas forced open a rear door at a shop on BerwickClyde Road and stole 10 bicycles valued at $46,000. The bikes were loaded on the trailer, which was then driven to The Glen Motor Inn - across the road from Brandon Park shopping centre. On 19 November, Tzoumanekas fled from police officers when they arrived at his room at the motor inn, and was arrested at the nearby shopping centre. Three of the guitars were recovered at a co-accused’s Narre Warren home and four bikes from the home of the coaccused’s partner. Tzoumanekas told police he didn’t get paid or gain anything from the burglaries. He also pleaded guilty to separate instances of speeding and driving disqualified in 2015. Defence lawyer Emma

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Bikes, guitars stolen to tune of $64,000 By Cam Lucadou-Wells

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News - Berwick - 11th May 2017  
News - Berwick - 11th May 2017