Pool un­plugged

La­bor dishes out an­other $30m but Childers gets noth­ing:

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

CHILDERS’ much-needed hy­drother­apy pool project is again noth­ing more than a pipe dream.

Lit­tle more than a month af­ter pro­test­ers swept down Churchill St, Pre­mier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk and Health Min­is­ter Cameron Dick have thumbed their noses to the com­mu­nity.

A joint state­ment re­leased on Mon­day had the State Gov­ern­ment pledge a fur­ther $30 mil­lion to “ad­dress wait­ing lists for out­pa­tient ap­point­ments for chil­dren and adults suf­fer­ing from ear, nose and throat com­plaints”.

This is on top of an an­nounce­ment on March 10 to make $30 mil­lion “im­me­di­ately avail­able” to Queens­land Health to ad­dress the “wait­ing list for the wait­ing list”.

A spokes­woman for Mr Dick re­it­er­ated pre­vi­ous com­ments, say­ing the pre­vi­ous LNP gov­ern­ment never funded the project.

“It was a prom­ise by the LNP dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign,” she said.

“It is an­other il­lus­tra­tion of the ar­ro­gance of the LNP that they made prom­ises which they could not keep and had not funded.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate that this is a dis­ap­point­ing out­come for lo­cals, but it is for Mr Spring­borg and Mr Bennett to ex­plain to the Childers com­mu­nity why they did not al­lo­cate any fund­ing for the project.

“Fund­ing pro­vided for wait list man­age­ment is al­lo­cated from the pur­chas­ing pool which is used to sup­port ac­tiv­ity such as di­ag­nos­tic testing, elec­tive surgery and out­pa­tient ap­point­ments and is not avail­able for cap­i­tal projects.”

Bur­nett MP Stephen Bennett and Op­po­si­tion Leader Lawrence Spring­borg an­nounced the $300,000 project on Jan­uary 12, and both MPs pledged to fight for the fund­ing af­ter they lost power.

Mr Bennett called La­bor’s de­ci­sion to fun­nel fur­ther funds to wait­ing lists as a “slap in the face of the Childers com­mu­nity”.

“The Childers com­mu­nity should quite rightly feel be­trayed by the Palaszczuk gov­ern­ment,” Mr Bennett said. “The Health Min­is­ter talks about driv­ing in­no­va­tion in our state’s health sys­tem, but he thumbs his nose at the Childers com­mu­nity for their sim­ple and rea­son­able re­quest for a hy­drother­apy pool.

“(The pool is) an in­no­va­tive health re­source that would be a won­der­ful com­mu­nity as­set to help peo­ple re­cover from phys­i­cal and neu­ro­log­i­cal in­juries.”

Mr Bennett helped the Isis Dis­trict Res­i­dents and Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion launch a pe­ti­tion against La­bor’s de­ci­sion to pull the funds.

That pe­ti­tion will close next Wed­nes­day, May 13, and Mr Bennett has called for the com­mu­nity to get be­hind the cause.

“Childers is a very strong and determined com­mu­nity, which was well and truly on dis­play at the protest march. I would urge ev­ery­one to keep the mo­men­tum go­ing and add their voice to the cause by sign­ing the pe­ti­tion.”

Sign the pe­ti­tion at the Town & Coun­try of­fice, or www.par­lia­ment.qld.gov.au/ work-of-as­sem­bly/ pe­ti­tions/e-pe­ti­tions.

PHOTO: MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

POOL PROTEST: The Childers com­mu­nity protests the State Gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to pull $300,000 from a hy­drother­apy pool project.

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