ALP pulls funds

Dick’s de­ci­sion to pull fund­ing from Childers’ planned hy­drother­apy pool shocks the com­mu­nity

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

CHILDERS’ hy­drother­apy pool is again noth­ing more than a pipe dream.

Mem­ber for Bur­nett Stephen Bennett and then-Health Min­is­ter Lawrence Spring­borg an­nounced the much-needed health fa­cil­ity prior to the state elec­tion.

The plan was go­ing to see $300,000 in­jected into the re­gion for the devel­op­ment, which For­est View CEO Jenny Nixon de­scribed as be­ing on the “wish list” for years.

That is where it will re­turn, af­ter Health Min­is­ter Cameron Dick said it was not on the cards.

“Un­for­tu­nately, I am ad­vised by the Wide Bay Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice that this project was not funded and will not be pro­ceed­ing at this time,” Mr Dick said.

Mr Bennett went straight on the attack, lament­ing Mr Dick’s de­ci­sion to dump a “fully costed com­mit­ment” that was “vi­tal” to the re­gion.

“ALP Health Min­is­ter Cameron Dick has made a lot of noise re­cently about sup­port­ing vi­tal com­mu­nity-based preven­ta­tive health ser­vices – ser­vices which re­duce the rate of hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion and take the pres­sure off our hos­pi­tal sys­tem,” Mr Bennett said.

“Yet at the first op­por­tu­nity he had to de­liver such ser­vices to our lo­cal com­mu­nity, he has failed.”

Mr Bennett has been drawn on the hy­drother­apy pool’s sta­tus sev­eral times since the elec­tion de­feat, both by res­i­dents and the Town & Coun­try.

As far as he was con­cerned, there was no rea­son why the project shouldn’t go ahead, be­cause he said it was fully funded and not tied to re-elec­tion.

He re­it­er­ated that claim ear­lier this week, and said the LNP had a fully-costed plan for the de­liv­ery of health projects that were not part of the Strong Choices plan.

“Mr Dick ap­pears to be cherry-pick­ing,” Mr Bennett said.

“The same fund­ing pro­gram pro­vided for the pro­vi­sion of ma­ter­nity ser­vices in Ing­ham – which Mr Dick last week claimed was pro­ceed­ing – while here in Bur­nett he claims he now does not have the funds to pro­ceed with the com­mit­ment to the lo­cal Childers com­mu­nity.”

Wide Bay Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice chief ex­ec­u­tive Adrian Pen­ning­ton said his or­gan­i­sa­tion had not been in­volved in any dis­cus­sions.

“The WBHHS have not been in­volved in any dis­cus­sions re­gard­ing this project and do not have a bud­get for any­thing of this na­ture,” he said.

Stephen Bennett’s of­fice is plan­ning a protest march. For more in­for­ma­tion, phone (07) 4111 5100.

PHOTO: MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

NOT HAPPY: Mem­ber for Bur­nett Stephen Bennett is dis­ap­pointed fol­low­ing news Childers hy­drother­apy pool will now no longer go ahead. Read his let­ter on page six.

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