Queanbeyan District Hospital Services
Debate resumed from 16 October 2003.
The Hon. MELINDA PAVEY [4.55 p.m.]: It has been five months since we started debating this important motion relating to Queanbeyan Hospital. It has been an amazing five months for the people of Monaro, the patients of Queanbeyan Hospital and those who come under the administration of the Southern Area Health Service, which has had three managers in the past year. The last manager resigned one month ago and took up a position in Melbourne. The current manager, Mr Schneider, has come from the New England Area Health Service. All I can say is, poor Mr Schneider! He has taken on probably the most difficult job in health in this State. We wish him well in that position because he has a huge task in front of him. It has been revealed, following probing by the Opposition, that the Southern Area Health Service has a $7million overrun in its expenditure. It owes $7 million to its creditors in the Monaro and southern region of this State. That debt is typical of the wanton mismanagement of the Carr Government.
The Hon. John Hatzistergos: How come you lost the seat?
The Hon. MELINDA PAVEY: Because the Labor Party came in and lied in the last week of the campaign. In the last week of the campaign Eric Roozendaal rang Bob Carr and said, "You can win the seat. All you have to do is promise them $30 million for a hospital."
The Hon. Christine Robertson: It's not a lie.
The DEPUTY-PRESIDENT (The Hon. Amanda Fazio): Order! Interjections are disorderly at all times.
The Hon. MELINDA PAVEY: The Southern Area Health Service is $7 million over budget, and it is only 1 April. Many people are owed money in the southern region. But the most disturbing aspect of the $7 million overrun in the Southern Area Health Service is that supplies and medical equipment are not being provided to the hospital, and that impacts on the communities of Cooma, Bega and Queanbeyan. It is an outrageous situation. In the five months since I moved this motion the situation has deteriorated to such an extent that we have seen the resignation of two area health service managers and the employment of Mr Schneider from the New England Area Health Service.
For the people of the Monaro electorate, health was a major issue at the State election. The Coalition undertook to improve the hospital at Queanbeyan following strong and capable representations by the former member for the Monaro, Peter Webb—who had done a remarkable job addressing health issues in the electorate, despite the maladministration by the Carr Government. He convinced the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Brogden, and the honourable member for Upper Hunter, George Souris, that the community needed a new hospital. On 24 January Mr Brogden announced that the Coalition would provide a new hospital to improve health services for the people of the Monaro. That was an exciting time.
Pursuant to sessional orders business interrupted.