The Hon. Rob Lucas MLC

The Hon

Rob Lucas MLC

Treasurer

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Weatherill Labor’s hospital costing con job

Thursday, 16 January 2014

The estimated total cost of the Weatherill Labor Government’s proposed relocation of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital has already blown out, before the hospital design has even been finalised.

The Weatherill Labor Government had previously advised that the move and co-location of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital to the new Royal Adelaide Hospital site would cost $600 million:

Bevan: “How much would it cost..?
Weatherill: “Well it’s $600 million, so that’s the indicative costs at the moment.” (891ABC, 28/10/2013)

However, on ABC radio yesterday, Health Minister Snelling revealed the cost would be “in excess of $600 million”:

Denny: “Even though this is only in … the proposal stage … a date of 2023 you mentioned before for potentially co-location … has any work been done on budgeting for something like this, the sort of cost involved in relocation?”

Snelling: “Very, very preliminary figures, we would expect … the cost to be in excess of $600 million but as I say this is very early days yet.”

Shadow Health Minister Rob Lucas said the Weatherill Labor Government’s original figure of $600 million was a costing con job.

The new Children’s Hospital in Queensland is estimated to cost $1.5 billion and the new Children’s Hospital in Victoria is estimated to cost more than $1 billion. Whilst these hospitals might have slightly higher bed numbers, they do not include a Women’s Hospital as will be the case in South Australia.

“The relocation of a new Women’s and Children’s Hospital to the new Royal Adelaide Hospital site was always going to cost significantly more than $600 million dollars,” said Mr Lucas.

“Sadly, Labor has form when it comes to inaccurate cost forecasts prior to an election.

“For example, before the 2010 South Australian election, Labor said the new Royal Adelaide Hospital would cost $1.7 billion, but that has blown out by between $400 million and $500 million.
“Premier Weatherill and Minister Snelling’s costings for the new Women’s and Children’s Hospital cannot be believed. Labor simply can’t be trusted to deliver health infrastructure on time and on budget.”
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