Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar has hit out over what he says is a body blow to drought-affected western Queensland with a ‘bungle’ by the State Government of the funding for the $17.9 million Blackall Hospital redevelopment.
Mr Millar says while the State Government announced the upgrade for the second time in the 2018-19 Budget it has made no mention of when the further $16.3 million in funding will flow through to the project.
Mr Millar says in the June Budget this year Treasurer Jackie Trad made some bold statements.
“I was hopeful in June when the Treasurer, in her Budget speech said, “Whether you live in Brisbane or Blackall, Labor is doing the things we said we’d do.”
“I hoped that meant that the State Government would deliver certainty to western Queensland and deliver the necessary funding for the Blackall Hospital redevelopment.”
Mr Millar says the 2017 Queensland Budget committed $5 million for the $17.3 million upgrade, but 2018 Budget papers show only $361,000 was spent in 2017-2018.
“The missing $4.369 million has seemingly disappeared as the current budget makes an allocation of just $1.23 million for the 2018/19 financial year.”
“Labor would like you to think this is a brand new announcement, but the sad reality is that they have rehashed a 2017 Budget commitment and failed to deliver $4.639 million of funding promised under last year’s budget.”
Mr Millar is now calling on the State Government to explain when it will allocate the further $16.3 million needed for the project and to outline a time frame for when the project will be completed.
“This week, I’ve lodged a formal Question on Notice to the Health Minister.”
“It amazes me that the State Government can find $500,000 at a drop of a hat to change the name of a hospital in Brisbane, and $47 million for a bicycle track in South Brisbane, but they can’t commit to fully funding these vital upgrades without constant prodding.”
Mr Millar’s Question on Notice was lodged in Parliament on Tuesday and the Minister has 30 days to respond.