Labor dishes out another $30m but Childers gets nothing:
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.
POOL PROTEST: The Childers community protests the State Government’s decision to pull $300,000 from a hydrotherapy pool project.