Today, the becalmed new Royal Adelaide Hospital (nRAH) project has missed yet another scheduled opening day with the passing of December 1st, the opening date built in to the 2016-17 State Budget.
The nRAH was meant to have opened on January 18, that was revised to April 4 before David Reynolds the Chief Executive of Budget and Finance told a parliamentary committee the State Government was budgeting for it to be open on December 1. (Budget & Finance Monday 11 July 2016 page 1280)
“This never ending story of when will the nRAH open has now descended into farce as South Australian taxpayers are confronted with a massive legal bill looming,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.
“In October the nRAH reached a major milestone when it was granted a “certificate of occupancy” – a declaration that means it is ‘suitable for occupation’ – yet it still sits empty and with no confirmed opening date.
“The fact the Weatherill Government is ensnared in various legal actions despite the fact the hospital is now 8 months overdue and $640 million over budget indicates the contract is flawed.
“Minister Snelling needs to explain why we still don’t know when the hospital will open given the Weatherill Government paid the consortium an extra $68.6 million of taxpayers’ money in September 2015 to guarantee ‘certainty’ about the completion of the project.
“What was this money for and why are taxpayer’s still at risk of even greater financial penalties.
“Minister Snelling should also tell the public when he is now budgeting on the hospital opening and if he has already banked the ‘savings’ from the delayed opening of the nRAH.
“The mid-year budget review is due before Christmas and both of these financial calculations will have already been made.”