MEDIA RELEASE - McDonald casts doubt on Maitland Hospital

Scot McDonald, Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, has cast doubts on whether the Baird Government will commence construction of the new Lower Hunter Hospital at Metford before March 2019.

Mr McDonald has called on Labor to promise what has already been promised by the Baird Government, that is to commence construction of the new hospital prior to March 2019.

Member for Maitland, Jenny Aitchison, met with Hunter New England Health and Health infrastructure for the first time this week. Ms Aitchison has made repeated requests for a briefing since she was elected in March 2015.

In the briefing Health representatives indicated that if suitable private operators are not identified in the EOI or tender process the Government may return to a fully public model and that in any case the construction of the hospital would commence prior to 2019. Ms Aitchison has been a strong advocate for the hospital construction to commence since before she was elected in March 2015.

Quotes attributable to Member for Maitland and Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

“The Government has been in office for five years, our community has waited for five years, it’s time for Mr McDonald to stop playing politics and work on construction of our hospital as promised.

“Mr McDonald has said a PPP model will deliver a bigger hospital in less time. In 2011 the Liberal Government promised a John Hunter sized hospital and in the 2015 they promised construction prior to 2019.

“Now they are saying it will be half the size and will need private money to build it quicker.

“This sounds like more broken promises from the Baird Government.

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