Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Media Release

Labor’s legacy of inaction and incompetence on Royal Hobart Hospital site

Paul Lennon has a short memory when it comes to Labor’s mismanagement of a new Royal Hobart Hospital – Labor spent more than $150 million of taxpayers money on the project yet failed to lay a single brick of the new inpatient precinct.
It was Paul Lennon himself in 2006 who said “Labor is rebuilding the Royal from the inside out, rather than looking at a new site”, only to change his mind six months later but refuse to release advice on why.
Labor then wasted over $10 million planning a waterfront hospital before abandoning that plan and coming full circle to conclude the best option was to rebuild on site, which then Health Minister Michelle O’Byrne promised would be complete by 2016. Laughable.
After eight years of Labor chasing their tails, it took a Liberal Government to rescue the Royal Redevelopment in 2014, and we did so despite also inheriting their appaling mess.
We also inherited a binding contract for the onsite redevelopment, putting paid to any notion that the Liberal Government could have simply started yet again at the waterfront. A move that would have put the project off by a decade.
History shows that Labor have no idea on how to manage major projects or money, and some things never change.
It is the Hodgman Liberal Government that both started and will deliver a new Royal Hobart Hospital and an 250 extra beds to meet rising demand.
Labor’s timeline of inaction
2006 – Lennon wants to rebuild the RHH from the inside-out, but six months later says a Greenfields site is best.
2007 – Lennon and Giddings announce Cabinet had selected railyards site for a new RHH.
2009 – Barlett and Giddings rule out the railyards site because of the prohibitive up-front cost.
2010 – Giddings commits to redeveloping RHH on existing site.
2012 – O’Byrne says the new Royal (inpatient precinct) will be completed by early 2016.
2012 – O’Byrne removes helipad from project.
2013 – O’Byrne said the project won’t be completed until 2017 – a year behind schedule.
2014 (State election) – RHH project not even started.

Michael Ferguson is Minister for Health

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  1. Rob Halton

    November 13, 2018 at 2:28 am

    Anyone should know the choice of the Waterfront site was a farce from day one, with a hospital stuck in behind a working port, noise and pollution as well. Since the wartime experiences in Europe, no Western country in its right mind would site a hospital close to port facilities.

    Unfortunately Labor limited its options at the time, as Health Minister Giddings and Premier Lennon made no attempt to look closer .. at the Showgrounds as a greenfield site, for example!

    The Hobart City Council along with the Chamber of Commerce finally influenced the government to abandon the waterfront site and rebuild the Royal on its current site, which in my opinion had little to do with future hospital care but showing support for the grizzling business community around the CBD which claimed there would be loss of business and employment if the hospital was moved elsewhere.

    Although Labor instigated the wrong site and wrong method for a hospital, the Royal rebuild became a political football resulting in the mess we are facing today.

    The other point is Tony Abbott did offer local member Andrew Wilkie funding for a new public hospital on a greenfield site if Wilkie as an Independent would form government with the Coalition. I cannot recall the situation with the other two mainland Independents as to whether Abbott was dependent on their support to form government as well, but I think that may have been the case.

    As we now know, Labor with Rudd was elected PM and State Labor fouled up by providing a false time line and the promise of a state of the art public hospital for the South of the state.

    It has not happened, and it won’t happen on the present restrictive site. All sorts of excuses have been created politically and are continuing as I write!

    There is one option to get out of this mess, or at least provide another facility at the Showgrounds despite Bunnings taking up some of the space for hardware retail, and that’s if the State Government is smart enough to soon take over the remaining Showgrounds site and construct a second hospital, which in fact may be a mental health and aged care facility which includes a hospital to relieve the city site that cannot possibly cope with the influx of those seeking treatment.

    If in fact the state government is serious about population growth, there is doubt that the Southern end of the State would see a large influx of new residents, with proper infrastructure including public hospital facilities needing to be provided.

    Another point is that PM Morrison has recently made it clear that for future immigration numbers settlement, the states and territories must provide sufficient infrastructure.

    Currently Southern Tasmania can barely cater for new residents coming from the mainland to settle here because public hospital, affordable housing and transport facilities are not up to scratch sufficient to sustain population growth!

  2. Stephen Menadue.

    November 12, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    Are you serious? The Libs bagging out Labor whilst they themselves are in power?

    This poking of the alternate party makes me want to vote for the Labor party. How dare they! Slimy.

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