The Cook Labor Government has failed to deliver 97 regional health projects worth a combined value of $14.62 million.
In September 2019 the State Government promised to deliver a regional priority hospital maintenance blitz announcing over $37 million to fund urgent upgrades to hospitals, health clinics, aged care sites and staff accommodation, however, many never eventuated.
Shadow Minister for Regional Health Hon Martin Aldridge said the Cook Labor Government had perpetuated budget cuts by stealth in failing to deliver the program.
“Analysis by The Opposition has unveiled the grim reality that out of 209 promised projects, a staggering 97 were never delivered through this funding program, comprising nearly half of the program’s intended scope,” Mr Aldridge said.
“The Minister for Health must apologise for yet another broken promise in regional health and provide a clear explanation as to why these funds were not spent, and why the Government has not been upfront about these multi-million-dollar cuts.”
Mr Aldridge said the range of broken promises was vast and stretched across every aspect of healthcare and impacted almost every region.
“Some of the most significant projects that were abandoned include a roof replacement for Bridgetown Hospital ($1 million); essential fire service upgrades at Gnowangerup Hospital ($883,000); and the removal of asbestos sheeting in Paraburdoo ($300,000).
“A $1 million upgrade to Collie nurses quarters which never saw the light of day resulted in this
facility being closed down. Consequently, WA Country Health Service is now forced to house 18 local health staff in hotels and motels.”
Mr Aldridge said the Wheatbelt and the Mid West had been hit hardest by the budget cuts. “In the Wheatbelt, a total of 41 projects were announced, however 32 of these were not delivered, worth a combined value of $3.24 million; while the Mid West saw 22 projects undelivered, worth $2.39 million, including multiple projects at the delay-plagued Geraldton Health Campus.”
Mr Aldridge condemned the Cook Labor Government for failing to progress these important healthcare initiatives.
“The abject failure to complete the priority health maintenance blitz is a stark reminder of the Cook Labor Government’s legacy in regional healthcare. This legacy is one of broken promises, slashing essential services, and crippling staff shortages,” he said.
“When you consider the multi-billion dollar increases for Perth projects like Metronet, and a projected budget surplus of $6 billion on the horizon, there is simply no justification for Labor cutting funds from regional health.”
See attached document for a full list of health projects cut by the Cook Labor Government – https://loop.wa.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Hospitals-and-Health-Campuses-–-Maintenance-Funding.pdf