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Report casts doubt over completion of Bendigo's new hospital

Sunday, 30 January 2011

A recent media report has revealed that Bendigo's New Hospital is not guaranteed to receive the necessary funds from the Baillieu Government for it to be completed by 2016.

The Member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan, said the Baillieu Government had previously matched the former Labor Government's commitment to complete Bendigo's New Hospital by 2016.

However a lack of funds in the coming four year Budget cycle casts massive doubt over the Baillieu Government's ability to meet this deadline.

"The Labor Party put in place the funds and building program for Bendigo to achieve its new Hospital by 2016. The Liberal-National Government said they'd match it, but now it looks like they have reneged."

"A report in the Herald Sun has exposed that the Government will fail to have the funds to honour their 2016 completion commitment to the Bendigo community."

The Herald Sun reports states that the Government's $1 billion Health Infrastructure Fund that was to pay for Bendigo's New Hospital has only $282 million allocated for the next four years.

The report goes on to say that ‘developments at Monash, Box Hill and Bendigo must be paid' from this $282m'. (Herald Sun, 28/1/10, article attached)

"The size of the projects far exceeds the available fund. The major capital projects at Monash Children's ($250m, planned completion 2014), Box Hill ($447.5m, planned completion 2015) alongside Bendigo can not all be squeezed into $282m over the next four years."

"Something has to give and the Baillieu Government, and its local representative, Damian Drum, must give immediate assurances to the local community that they will not blow out the completion date of Bendigo's New Hospital beyond 2016," Ms Allan said.



Author: GRANT McARTHUR, state political reporter
Publisher: News Ltd
Publication: Herald Sun , Page 25 (Fri 28 Jan 2011)
Keywords: David (1) Davis (1)
Edition: 1 - FIRST
Section: NEWS

Health Minister David Davis has been missing in action, say hospitals worried about major new projects. 

Despite having billions of dollars of building projects in the pipeline, Mr Davis has not visited Monash Children's, the Royal Children's Hospital, Austin Health or Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre since taking office.

The lack of contact has raised eyebrows as work continues on the new $1 billion Royal Children's Hospital due to open this year.

Other projects about to start are the new $1 billion Peter MacCallum hospital in Parkville and the $186 million Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre at the Austin.

But the biggest fears have been raised at Monash Children's, which had a Brumby government commitment to begin building a $250 million paediatric hospital next year. It was to be finished in 2014.

The Coalition yesterday told the Herald Sun it was committed to the project, but sources at the hospital are concerned work may not begin for at least four years.

The Baillieu Government's election pledges made no specific mention of the Monash Children's development.

But Mr Davis said it was included in the $1 billion Health Infrastructure Fund, to be funded by poker machine licences in the next decade. ``There will certainly be substantial construction during this term (of government) and the scheduling of that will be considered as part of the Budget process,'' he said.

But forward estimates show the fund will have only $282 million in its first four years, from which developments at Monash, Box Hill and Bendigo must be paid.


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