HEALTH WOES: LNP  Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett and LNP Member for Bundaberg David Batt.
HEALTH WOES: LNP Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett and LNP Member for Bundaberg David Batt.

Promised hospital business case on backburner: Bennett

THE LNP claims a report by the State Government shows delays for major infrastructure across Queensland, including the groundwork for promised works to replace or refurbish Bundaberg Hospital.

The party claims Labor is dragging its heels on prioritising the work.

In the last State Government election, the LNP and Labor went tit-for-tat with the LNP promising a new hospital master plan, while Labor pledged $3 million towards a business case for a new or refurbished hospital.

But LNP Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett hit out at Labor yesterday afternoon, claiming the business case had been put on the backburner for at least a further six months.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said the Building Queensland, Infrastructure and Pipeline report exposed the systemic failings of the Palaszczuk Labor Government to build the infrastructure Queensland desperately needed.

"During their last term, Palaszczuk and Labor viciously cut $9 billion from investment in Queensland infrastructure,” Ms Frecklington said.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to match the LNP's Economic Plan to bust congestion, invest in health and education and deliver water security for our state.”

Mr Bennett said with record unemployment, Queensland needed a government that would invest in infrastructure and build for the future.

"It is unacceptable that businesses cases for projects like the Bundaberg Hospital upgrade have been pushed back by more than six months,” he said.

Bundaberg MP David Batt said the community was sick of the healthcare delays.

"Bundaberg residents are sick of delays and excuses when it comes to upgrading Bundaberg Hospital,” Mr Batt said.

"Residents from across the region deserve a world-class health system and under Labor they're definitely not getting it.”

State LNP Infrastructure spokesman Andrew Powell said while Queensland hospitals were at crisis point, prisons were overflowing and roads gridlocked.

"All that Labor do is cover up their incompetency,” he said.

"Now Labor couldn't be bothered to finish the business cases for infrastructure projects.

"No wonder Annastacia Palaszczuk is trying to cut Building Queensland's reporting requirements by half.”

A state spokeswoman rejected that, saying during the 2017 state election campaign the "LNP didn't commit a single cent for a new ward or a new doctor or nurse for the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service, and they have committed nothing to the Bundaberg Hospital”.

She said the State Government was investing a record $614.9 million for Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service this financial year - over $33million more than the previous year - and it was on track to deliver on the election commitment to prepare a business case for a new or refurbished hospital for the Wide Bay community in this term of government.

"The only thing Deb Frecklington and the LNP built when they were in government was a monument to themselves in the form of a giant office tower in Brisbane,” she said.

"We stand by our record infrastructure spend, $45.8billion, the highest investment in infrastructure in our state since the 2011 floods.

"We will continue to deliver the infrastructure Queenslanders across the state need under our detailed planning process.”

The preliminary business case for the Bundaberg Hospital will assess a number of options to address the identified service need including improving flood resilience and capacity at the existing site informed by up to date flood modelling data, improving capacity at other Wide Bay health sites and exploring new site locations.

The latest Building Queensland report reflects the most up to date information on the timeframe required to complete analysis of these potential options to ensure that the best possible solution and potential locations are incorporated in the detailed business case.

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premium_icon UPDATE: One dead in North Bundaberg crash

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