EXCLUSIVE: Batt and Bennett air new Bundy hospital fears
LOCAL members have come out swinging at the Labor Government over the prospects of a new Bundaberg Hospital.
Member for Bundaberg David Batt and Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett have criticised the inaction of the State Government and raised concerns that the momentum for a new hospital will suffer in the wake of former Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service chief executive Adrian Pennington’s dismissal.
On Thursday Mr Batt spoke in parliament to ask the Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services:
“With reference to the Premier’s announcement in the Bundaberg NewsMail on
Saturday 1 June confirming a detailed business case for a new hospital for
“Will the Minister (a) advise when the detailed business case will be completed,
(b) confirm the amount of funding committed to complete it and (c) confirm whether
the detailed business case will include final costings, a location for the new hospital
and a plan for the future use of the current hospital site?”
The minister responded by referring to a media statement he and the Premier issued in June.
This announced the allocation of $6.7 million for the Bundaberg Hospital business case.
According to the statement, Bundaberg will know the site of its new hospital in 2020.
In June Ms Palaszczuk said a significant portion of the $6.7 million would go towards design costs for the preferred option, further demonstrating the government’s commitment to the project.
“Labor is all talk and no action on a new Bundaberg Hospital,” Mr Batt said.
“As the State Member, fighting for a new hospital for Bundaberg has always been my number one priority and I know from the number of phone calls, visits and emails I get weekly, it’s also the number one priority for Bundaberg residents too,” he said.
“There is no information on the budget to purchase the site once it’s identified and no commitment to actually starting the project build.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to come clean and stop the cover-up from her embattled Health Minister.”
Burnett MP Stephen Bennett said his fears stemmed from the sacking of Mr Pennington last month.
“My concern is that the business case will be delayed because of the CEO sacking debacle,” he said.
“The former project leader is now Acting CEO, which puts the whole business case up in the air.
“It’s no wonder Labor can’t answer when the business case will be completed, they clearly have no idea.”
WBHHS board chair Peta Jamieson told the NewsMail on Thursdsay that in relation to the Bundaberg Hospital project, development of the detailed business case remained a priority and work was proceeding as normal.