Skinner allows politics to delay upgrades
The O'Farrell Government has played politics with the redevelopment of Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospital – and delayed the start of major works because it did not take the needs of the local community seriously.
"While the NSW Labor Opposition welcomes the announcement of funding for the redevelopment of Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospital, it is one year too late," Opposition Leader and Member for Blacktown, John Robertson said today.
"Blacktown Hospital should be a work site right now. Under Labor, the redevelopment would have already begun and been completed by 2015.
"The contract for these works was sitting on Jillian Skinner's desk for her to sign the day she became Health Minister.
"It shouldn’t have taken the O'Farrell Government an entire year to realise its election commitment for Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospital wouldn’t cut it.
"The Health Minister's failure to listen to the warnings of the local community and health experts means western Sydney residents will now have to wait until the end of 2016 for works to be completed.
"All this means is that local families will be left without new hospital beds and specialist services for 12 months longer than they needed to.
"The local community and I have campaigned on the Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospital redevelopment for two years – it shouldn’t have taken the Health Minister all this time to realise she hadn’t directed enough funding to meet the needs of Blacktown and western Sydney."
Shadow Health Minister, Dr Andrew McDonald said: "Jillian Skinner should have made the announcement about extra funding for the Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospital redevelopment one year ago."
"Why has it taken this long for the Minister to listen to the health experts who have no doubt been advising her that Blacktown and Mount Druitt needed more than her original paltry commitment?"
Member for Mount Druitt, Richard Amery said: "We have had a year of uncertainty about whether Mount Druitt would receive the vital facilities announced by the former Labor Government."
"I'm pleased to see the Health Minister has paid attention to Labor's policy for the people of Mount Druitt and Blacktown and finally decided, after a year of waiting, to properly fund the redevelopment."
Tags: Andrew McDonald, Blacktown, health, hospitals, Jillian Skinner, John Robertson, Mount Druitt, Richard Amery, Western Sydney