Min­is­ter to con­sider fund­ing hos­pi­tal’s multi- storey so­lu­tion

Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - AN­THONY GAL­LOWAY an­thony. gal­loway@ news. com. au

TOWNSVILLE Hos­pi­tal looks set to get a multi- storey carpark with a pro­posal to be put be­fore the board in the com­ing weeks.

It comes as staff are be­ing forced to il­le­gally park in public ar­eas or ar­rive up to an hour be­fore a shift to find a spot to avoid be­ing late.

Queens­land Health Min­is­ter Cameron Dick con­ceded some­thing needed to be done to solve the park­ing cri­sis, say­ing he would con­sider fund­ing the pro­ject once a pro­posal was on his desk.

Townsville Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice chair­man John Bearne said con­sul­tants had al­most fin­ished in­ves­ti­gat­ing the op­tions for a multi- storey carpark with the board to be pre­sented with three op­tions: staff- only, public- only or both.

“Longer term we won’t have any op­tion but for staff to go up into multi- storey,” Mr Bearne said. “( Once) we de­cide what op­tion … then we can choose the rest of it, like how many storeys it will be.

“Multi- storey carparks are not in the an­nual bud­get so we would be look­ing for as­sis­tance from gov­ern­ment.”

Mr Dick, who was in Townsville over the week­end, said he would con­sider fund­ing the carpark once a pro­posal h had been set­tled on.

“My de­sire would be to see m more car parks at the hos­pi­tal and bet­ter light­ing to im­prove se­cu­rity,” he said.

“I’m happy to talk to them about ( fund­ing). Other hos­pi­tals in Queens­land have de­vel­oped park­ing plans in­clud­ing multi- storey carparks.

“That’s an is­sue for the hos­pi­tal and health ser­vice and I would like them to in­ves­ti­gate it first and pur­sue it for them- selves to see how far they can go. If that re­mains a prob­lem, I’m happy to talk to them.”

The Queens­land Nurses Union called for a multi- storey carpark to guar­an­tee the safety of its mem­bers. It was first touted by for­mer health min­is­ter Lawrence Spring­borg in 2012.

Mean­while, Mr Dick promised the Gov­ern­ment wouldn’t change the struc­ture of hos­pi­tal boards but didn’t rule out mov­ing on board mem­bers when their con­tracts ex­pire. “We will re­new and re­place board mem­bers over time.”

How the Bul­letin has re­ported the hos­pi­tal’s park­ing prob­lems.

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