ROUSE HILL TIMES STILL WRONG ABOUT HOSPITAL FUNDING
Written on the 21 June 2019 by Kevin Conolly
Member for Riverstone Kevin Conolly has taken the Rouse Hill Times to task for claiming that the $300 million funding commitment to the Rouse Hill Hospital project is "surprise funding" and a "kneejerk announcement" made only after the newspaper's initial inaccurate report about the project's inclusion in the state budget.
"The $300 million commitment arises from the proceeds of the 'poles and wires' lease. It is a figure which has been on the public record for a substantial time and is appropriately noted in the budget papers," said Mr Conolly.
"The Rouse Hill Times journalist who made these claims was present in February this year when Health Minister Brad Hazzard and I announced the selected site for the new hospital. On that occasion the Minister was asked about the $300 million figure and the Rouse Hill Times report in February referred to it.
"This funding commitment is no 'surprise' and nor does it represent any change from previously announced arrangements.
The newspaper's first report on this week's budget suggested that Rouse Hill Hospital had 'missed out' on construction funding, yet construction was never due to commence in this budget year.
"At the announcement in February the Minister explained that there would be a planning phase of 'about 2 years' before construction would commence. So nothing was 'missed out' in this budget and, as the budget papers confirm, the balance of the $300 million after site acquisition remains set aside as had previously been announced.
"If the Rouse Hill Times had made a phone call to my office before rushing to print these unfortunate inaccuracies in their reports may have been avoided."
"Planning is proceeding and construction will begin during this term of parliament.
"As the Minister stated in February, when completed the hospital will have 'a full range of services'. He also clarified that it will be a fully public hospital," said Mr Conolly.
Author: Kevin Conolly
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