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NRAH opening date in doubt

The State Liberals have grave doubts that the massively over budget nRAH will be able to open, as currently promised, before the end of November.

"Yesterday’s admission that the technical completion date has now been pushed back by yet another seven weeks is an indictment of the Health Minister’s Jack Snelling handling of the project," said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.

"Under the original contract technical hand over scheduled for 18 January – now it will be 25 May.

"I’m also perplexed why the Jack Snelling seems to have been the last person in Adelaide to learn that the technical handover of the massively over budget nRAH was going to be delayed again.

"Rumours that the consortium building the nRAH had fallen even further behind schedule have been rife for weeks.

"Yet yesterday the Minister for Health told Parliament he was first informed of the latest seven week delay in the project on Monday – or so he believed.

"After all the delays and cost blow-outs on this project the Health Minister should have been all over this project, yet again he seems to be in the dark on the status of the project.

"Not only is the nRAH running well behind schedule but it is also way over budget with the cost of the project having blown out from $1.7 billion to $2.34 billion and counting.

"What is particularly perverse is that the Government assured the public that its financing model would protect taxpayers from cost blow-outs and delays, instead taxpayers have been slugged an additional $660 million so far.

"The massive cost blow-out on the nRAH is sucking even more resources into the centre – that is one of the reasons why the Weatherill Government is closing the Repat and downgrading services at The QEH, Modbury and Noarlunga emergency departments.

Also, the blow-out on the nRAH project doesn’t even include the mounting costs associated with the $220 million blow-out in the Enterprise Patient Administration System (EPAS).

"South Australian taxpayers have invested enough money into this project for it to have been delivered on time."