The preliminary estimate of the cost for demolishing and cleaning up the existing Royal Adelaide Hospital site is about $200 million, according to leaked information from within SA Health.
Shadow Minister for Health Rob Lucas said the information the State Liberals received indicated significant amounts of asbestos had been identified within the old buildings on the site, which was a significant factor in the $200 million cost.
“The State Liberals have been advised this $200 million estimate was undertaken and provided to the former Health Minister last year,” said Mr Lucas.
“However, current Health Minister Snelling yesterday sought to convey the impression he hadn’t been provided with an estimate of the total cost.
“Mr Snelling told The Advertiser the cost was ‘unknown’ and that ‘the (Health) Department, at the moment, are looking at the costs.’
“It is clearly embarrassing that the Weatherill Labor Government has not budgeted anything for the demolition of the site, particularly when they have been indicating right from the start buildings would be demolished and a significant part of the site returned to parklands.
“The State Liberals also understand that the huge cost of the demolition and clean-up is a large factor in deterring the University of Adelaide from seeking to expand onto the site.
“Mr Snelling needs to explain why, when the Government issued detailed costings of building a new hospital or redeveloping the current hospital, these costs were not included in the costing comparison.
“We have already seen a $400 million plus blowout in the promised cost of the new RAH, and now we have another unbudgeted $200 million cost for this decision.
“This is yet another example of the incompetence and financial mismanagement of the Weatherill Government.
“The State Liberals will be lodging FOI documents seeking copies of all documents related to the estimated cost for the demolition and clean-up of the site.”