Photo caption: Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall at Moree District Hospital – the site of one of three critical health infrastructure projects across the region for which urgent clarification is being sought from the State Government after it was announced the Budget would be deferred until September this year.
Tuesday, 18 April 2023
Assurance sought for hospitals and ambulance station
NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has today sounded the alarm about the impact the new State Government’s decision to delay its first Budget to September could have on the delivery of three local health infrastructure projects.
Mr Marshall has called on the Treasurer and Health Minister to urgently clarify what the deferral of the next State Budget will mean for the start of construction on the new $80 million Moree Hospital, $50 million Glen Innes Hospital and the continued construction of the $8.5 million new Glen Innes Ambulance Station.
“While last year’s Budget allocated funds for all three critical health projects, that money – as well as all money for all other areas of government – runs out at the end of June,” Mr Marshall said.
“Traditionally, Parliament considers the government’s proposed Budget in June each year and approves the funding for government expenditure and planned infrastructure projects.
“This week the Treasurer announced the delay of a fresh Budget until September and he now needs to clarify what this will mean for our region’s projects come the end of this financial year.
“Will they be delayed or slowed down? Will they grind to a complete halt? Or will ‘bridging’ funding be allocated to ensure these projects proceed as scheduled until fresh capital funds are allocated in September’s Budget?
“I would hate to think the Budget delay is a stalling tactic to quietly push back or kick our health projects down the road, which is why I have written urgent letters today to both the Treasurer and Health Minister requesting their immediate advice on how the Budget deferral will impact the project delivery timeframes.
“The community campaigned hard for these three health projects and the new government needs to provide clarity and ensure they are not delayed just because they have pushed back the date of their first Budget”
Mr Marshall said all three projects were critical infrastructure for the region and he would keep the pressure on the government to see them delivered on schedule.
“A design and build tenderer was approved and announced for the new Moree District Hospital project in February this year and for the Glen Innes District Hospital and Ambulance Station, which is now under construction, in January,” Mr Marshall said.
“The community and I eagerly await clarification around these projects from Minister for Health Ryan Park and Treasurer Daniel Mookhey to ensure they are not impacted by the decision to push back the Budget.”