The State Liberals are demanding that Acting Health Minister Leesa Vlahos detail when the public, and in particular the Veterans community, will be consulted about the Weatherill Government’s plans for the Repat Hospital site.
Exactly a year ago the then Acting Minister for Health Martin Hamilton-Smith announced the opening of Registrations of Interest for the Repat site promising that:
“Once we have these proposals the Veterans community and the public will have the opportunity to have their say about the plans.” (Hamilton-Smith Media Release 21 April 2015)
“With Expressions of Interest closing on 23 December 2015 and the successful applicant to be announced by mid-2016, the Weatherill Government is rapidly running out of time to fulfill its promise to consult the community on this contentious proposal,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.
“With ANZAC day looming Minister Vlahos needs to confirm when the public consultation process will begin and that the views of the Veterans and the community will be actually listened to before the bulldozers move in.
“It’s time for Labor to come good on Minister Hamilton Smith’s promise made a year ago today.
“Breaking this commitment would seriously compound the offence that occurred when Labor broke its 2010 promise to “never, ever close the Repat”.
“Minister Vlahos has made great play of her association with the Repat Hospital and her respect for our Veterans – today she needs to match those words with action and detail what proposals have been put to the Government.
“The fact almost four months have passed since the close of the Expressions of Interest leaves the Government with no excuse for continuing to conduct this process in secret.
“The Weatherill Government cannot afford a repeat of the disgrace that engulfed the sham process that led to its decision to shift Ward 17 to Glenside.
“The Weatherill Government needs to start learning from its mistakes – if you promise a public consultation process then deliver it.”
“Then Acting Health Minister Hamilton Smith gave this undertaking on the eve of the centenary of Anzac and a matter of weeks after Veterans started their long running protest on the Parliament House steps.
If this commitment is not honoured, it shows that it was merely a cynical political stunt to fob off our veterans.”