Labor’s desperate attempts to re-write history will not work

Michael Ferguson,Minister for Health

Labor’s desperate attempts to re-write history on the Royal Hobart Hospital Redevelopment simply cannot be taken seriously.

They have no policies, no credibility and nothing to offer but relentless negativity.

Tasmanians will rightly be asking what Labor stands for in health. They have dumped the centrepiece of their [many] failed election policies to put sick people in hotels. Their Leader has walked away from the portfolio and the new Shadow Minister doesn’t even seem to realise the extent of their past failures on the Royal project.

The project was in absolute disarray when we came to Government in 2014:

  • Not one brick had been laid on the site;
  • Mental health wards which Labor then had designed for levels 2 and 3 had inadequate outdoor space;
  • The lifesaving helipad had been taken out; and
  • Acutely unwell psychiatry patients were to be sent out to outer suburbs, away from the hospital.

Labor has finally accepted they were wrong to remove the helipad from the RHH, which will save vital minutes and lives, although it took them twelve years and two shadow health ministers to realise it.

The Government committed to conduct and also release the Masterplan publicly and that is exactly what we will do.

This is a highly complex piece of work done by qualified experts and we have a duty to Tasmanians to ensure we get this right. So we will continue to work closely with key stakeholders and will deliver the Masterplan later this month.

Masterplanning of such vital, long-term infrastructure would definitely benefit from people waiting to see the finished product before trying to score cheap, short-term political points.

In the meantime, Labor should reflect on their own record, remove their toxic politics from the situation, and back the Government’s sensible approach to ensuring a thorough long-term plan for the Royal’s future.

This would benefit the Tasmanian people, which is the Government’s sole focus.

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