CALLS FOR TIMELINE: Member for Bundaberg David Batt outside the Bundaberg Hospital.
CALLS FOR TIMELINE: Member for Bundaberg David Batt outside the Bundaberg Hospital.

Batt sets sights on new hospital update

A CHECK up on the new Bundaberg Hospital business case is just what the MP ordered.

Member for Bundaberg David Batt used his Question on Notice in parliament this week to gain a clear timeline for the prospects of a new hospital.

He asked whether the minister would advise if a preferred site had been selected and when the decision would be made public.

“In a media release in August 2019, the State Government advised that a decision on a site for the new Bundaberg hospital was to be made in early 2020 – it’s now the back half of May and we haven’t heard a thing so to follow up, I submitted a question to the Health Minister,” he said.

“I understand planning for a new hospital is a complex process and deciding on the right site is a crucial component. I also understand the COVID-19 situation may have impacted progress, but our community deserves to be kept up to date with the situation regardless of where it’s at.”

A response was due back on Thursday, June 18.

Mr Batt said fighting for a new hospital had always been his number one priority and based on the calls, visits and emails, it was also a project close to residents’s hearts.

“After being elected, I used my very first Question on Notice in Queensland parliament to seek a clear timeline for the planning of a new hospital and I’ve asked many more questions since, including one on Tuesday,” he said.

Health Minister Steven Miles said a preferred site would be identified and announced this year.

“The Business case for a new hospital in Bundaberg is progressing and to-date has not been delayed due to COVID-19,” he said.

“The Palaszczuk Government is investing $6.7 million in the business case because we’re committed to delivering the best public health services to the Wide Bay community.”

From patient care to boosting the economy, a new hospital would offer benefits across the region, Mr Batt said.

He said the site for a new hospital needed to be easily accessible with good transport links, sufficient parking and “well and truly flood proof”.

He said the current hospital had served the region well, but needs had increased and needed to be met sooner rather than later.

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