ANGRY residents yesterday hijacked an Ambulance Victoria information session on its new ambulance station in Wodonga.
A handful of protesters stood in the rain holding hand-made placards denouncing the new station to be built on the corner of McGaffins and Felltimber Creek roads.
Ambulance Victoria hosted the meeting to allow residents to view plans for the station and speak to its officers.
But residents said they felt “deceived” by Ambulance Victoria, after the state government leap-frogged the Wodonga Council to directly approve the plan.
Lynita Nicol, who has lived in the area for 20 years, said she didn’t know of the plans until it was “a done deal”.
“They talked about consultation but there was none,” she said.
“No phone calls, no letters, nothing.
“We paid a lot of money for a quiet lifestyle.
“It’s not a matter of compromise — this is not a suitable site.
“Ambulance Victoria does not fit in.”
Eryn Phillips and her family moved to the area two years ago for its peaceful surrounds.
“We thought this would be our dream location, and then we find out the station is going to be here,” she said.
“I have very serious concerns. It’s a very narrow road. There is nowhere to pull over if an ambulance is coming through. There’s only one road out of here. It’s crazy.”
Mrs Phillips said Ambulance Victoria had not held community consultations as directed by the council.
Ambulance Victoria regional manager Garry Cook said he couldn’t comment on the decisions of Planning Minister Matthew Guy.
He said while the new station wasn’t in the growth corridor, figures showed many of its call-outs came from West Wodonga so it made sense to have a station closer to clients.
He said the South Street station would remain and his organisation was already looking at suitable sites in the city’s south-east — toward Leneva and Baranduda — it could buy in years to come as the population grew.
He said the organisation was willing to work with residents and consider their concerns as the project moved ahead.