Health

Adjournment - Swan Hill Hospital

Tuesday, 24th August 2018

Mr WALSH (Murray Plains) (19:51:58) — (14 816) My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Health, and the action I seek from the minister is for her to instruct her department to provide an up‑to‑date costing on the redevelopment of the Swan Hill hospital. The Swan Hill Needs a New Hospital group have been formed to lobby for a new hospital in Swan Hill, because they quite rightly believe that the current building is sick and needs to be rebuilt. They have done a lot of work campaigning to do that, and members of this house would have all received a T‑shirt and a letter from them in the last sitting week. I am sure that members, particularly those on the other side, will be wearing those T‑shirts with pride.

One of the challenges that group faces is getting up‑to‑date real information about the cost of redevelopment of the Swan Hill hospital. They did organise a rally last Wednesday, which over 500 people attended. The street was closed off, and there were a number of speakers at that rally: Dr Ernan Hession, Dr Louise Bibby, who works there as well, and Raylene Richardson, who is the widow of Don Logan, who had over 40 years service on the board, who spoke of Don’s vision of getting a new hospital in Swan Hill.

As a result of that action I made some comments that day that the Swan Hill hospital and the department were forbidden from talking to the opposition and to the Swan Hill Needs a New Hospital group. The Minister for Health’s office responded to the Swan Hill Guardian, which was printed on the Friday, saying that that was not correct and that what I was saying was wrong, completely untrue and misleading. If what the minister’s office said about that is true, can I urge the minister to urge her department to please give the Swan Hill Needs a New Hospital group and me a detailed briefing on what the cost of that new hospital will be, because despite the fact that we were told they could not speak to us, the minister is now saying that is not true. The action I seek is that the minister live up to her word and actually provide a briefing to that group and to me on the cost of a new hospital and the redevelopment in Swan Hill.

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