It has become an extremely rare parliamentary sitting day when Labor Health spokesperson Rebecca White does not make a blatantly incorrect claim about the health portfolio.
The redevelopment of the Royal Hobart Hospital continues to proceed on schedule after it was rescued from the appalling mess the previous Labor-Green Government left it in.
The replacement of the previous Labor-Green Government’s unsafe and unworkable decanting plan, which proposed to shift patients off site to all parts of Hobart, was one of the most important and necessary achievements of the Rescue Taskforce.
Decanting has already begun in order to facilitate the demolition of B-Block, which commences in 2016. Staff are being closely consulted regarding decanting for each part of the hospital and decanting plans for mental health facilities, which Ms White falsely claimed today had not been completed, have been signed off by the Chief Psychiatrist and Clinical Director.
Several packages of work have been advertised for the redevelopment recently, including an Expression of Interest to deliver the onsite temporary Liverpool Street forecourt facility which is a key part of the fully costed decanting plan which the rescue taskforce developed.
We have committed an additional $2.4m to ensure the decanting plan includes a best practice model for mental health patients.
Labor does not have a shred of credibility on the RHH redevelopment. They blew the budget for the project by $70m, left the redevelopment so far off track and behind schedule it would never have been completed, and then wanted to drop the whole project like a hot potato in favour of the Cenotaph proposal which Treasury found would add up to $2.6 billion to the state’s debt by 2018.
Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health