Govt gives commitment to build baralaba hospital

IT may have taken frustratingly longer than Jeff Seeney wanted, but it finally came.

The Member for Callide got the written guarantee he wanted for the new, $8 million Baralaba Hospital from Health Minister Paul Lucas last week.

Mr Seeney told Central Telegraph he wrote to Mr Lucas on April 8 seeking a formal commitment from the Government to build the new hospital.

“I have been frustrated at the time taken to obtain a response as I believe what I was seeking was simply a formal and binding statement of the verbal commitments given by the Minister both to me and to other community representatives,” Mr Seeney said.

He raised it in the Parliament on May 21.

“There is a promise from the Health Minister to construct a new hospital at Baralaba but, understandably, the people of Baralaba and the surrounding community are very sceptical that this promise will be met, given the stringent financial conditions facing the State Government,” Mr Seeney told the House.

On June 3, an impatient Mr Seeney asked Mr Lucas a question on notice in the Parliament as to when the written commitment he had promised would be forthcoming.

On the floor of the Parliament on June 16 Mr Lucas handed Mr Seeney a copy of a letter assuring him of the Government's commitment to the project.

Mr Seeney said the letter was not as definitive as he would have liked it but does provide a commitment.

“While I remain disappointed at the decisions taken by Queensland Health in relation to the current service level at Baralaba Hospital I will continue to do everything possible to ensure the new health facility is built as soon as possible,” Mr Seeney said.

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