CANDIDATE Q&A: Thoughts on new Bundaberg hospital
THE NewsMail asked all candidates running in the state election for Bundaberg and Burnett about their thoughts on the new hospital.
All candidates have been sent the questions. The candidates who feature below have responded.
This is the question posed to candidates:
What is your stance on a new hospital for the region? Do you agree with the preferred site for the new hospital? Why/why not?
BUNDABERG (candidates in ballot order)
David Batt (LNP incumbent)
A new Bundaberg hospital has always been my number one priority and it will continue to be. I used my very first question in parliament to seek a clear timeline for the planning of a facility and I won't stop fighting until I see money in the budget and shovels hitting the ground.
An LNP government will deliver a state budget within 100 days of being elected and we will fast-track the competition of the detailed business case for a new Level 5 Bundaberg hospital.
I've been fighting for this since my first day in parliament, but we need a majority LNP government so I can deliver this for our community.
More than 80 per cent of people I've surveyed want a Level 5 hospital here so they don't have to travel away from their family and community to access the health care they need. Only the LNP has a plan to clear the Wide Bay region's surgery waiting list with a $10 million commitment to help more than 1430 locals get the surgery they need.
Without a budget Labor does not have a plan for a new Bundaberg Hospital.
Only an LNP government has a plan to get the state working again, so we can pay for vital infrastructure like hospitals for our community.
Tom Smith (Labor)
Labor is committed to building a brand new, state-of-the-art public hospital in Bundaberg. That's why we have so far invested $6.7 million into this project.
The Premier was in town earlier this year to announce the preferred site - another step toward our new hospital.
The LNP have committed nothing towards this and they also failed to do any planning when they were in government.
In fact, the LNP sacked 345 staff from Wide Bay hospitals, including 120 nurses.
For such a significant project, it's important that significant planning takes place to make sure we get it right.
The next stages of analysis in the business case to take place will include what services are required, bed numbers, design and possible staging options to bring on services quicker.
I look forward to the community providing their feedback.
BURNETT (candidates in ballot order)
Ric Glass (independent)
BBH/WBHHS can't run a Grade 4 Hospital.
I would never give them a bigger vehicle to drive when they can't keep the smaller one on track, it would be chaos for the community, no benefit at all.
At least it is next to the airport we can get to Brisbane quicker because the present hospital is "just a transit centre" and Labor are 100 per cent responsible.
I want a public cardiologist.
S tephen Bennett (LNP incumbent)
It's well documented that our region desperately needs a new hospital and it's something I will continue to push for.
While I hold some concerns regarding the proposed site, it's good to see plans for a new hospital underway.
We need to get on with it and make it happen in the best interests of our growing community.
The whole project has been shrouded in secrecy from the very beginning. There have been huge delays with no start date in sight.
It's time for the Labor government to come clean on their real plans for the Bundaberg hospital.
Paul Hudson (Katter's Australian Party)
A new hospital is a great idea but even if we started right now, completion is several years away.
It does not solve the problem of Nana's hip right now. She can't wait five years for a replacement. It needs to be done now.
The waiting lists need to be cleared. I know how this can be done. I have seen how it is done in other parts of the world and I have spoken with the people who did it.
The backlog in the Bundaberg region can be cleared in 6-12 months max.
The waiting list situation at present is terrible.
People are developing other problems like obesity and diabetes and depression, just because they are having to wait so long for a hip or knee replacement.
I know how to clear these waiting lists. Let's get it done.