A confidential Rann Government Cabinet submission confirms the cost of the Stages 2 and 3 redevelopment of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (TQEH) has blown out by $257 million, Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today.
The Health Department Cabinet submission in October this year confirms that the latest estimate for the Stages 2 and 3 redevelopment of TQEH is now $317m compared to the Rann Government estimate of $60m included in the 2003-04 budget papers (see attached).
“This blowout is clearly the biggest blowout in a single project in the state’s history,” Mr Lucas said today.
In February 2004, at the opening of the Stage 1 redevelopment, Mr Rann and Ms Stevens issued a joint media release that indicated the $60m cost had blown out to $120m.
The Chief Executive Officer of the North Western Adelaide Health Service in her 2003-04 annual report confirmed the increased cost of $60m at that time.
This was also confirmed by local Labor MP Paul Caica in Hansard on 24 February 2004 when he said:
“… we will ensure that the completion of stages 2 and 3 – and an extra $60m has been provided, taking it up to $120 million to complete stages 2 and 3 …”
However, in October 2005 Mr Rann and Ms Stevens issued another joint media release that now only referred to Stage 2 and a new cost of $120m. This media release did not refer to Stage 3 at all.
“Sources very close to the Premier have provided to the Liberal Party the details from the confidential Cabinet submission,” Mr Lucas said.
“This Cabinet submission confirms the Stage 2 cost is $120m but now confirms the Stage 3 cost is $197m.
“Whilst there has been a marginal increase in the scope of works of the redevelopment such as increased car parking, it in no way explains a blowout of $257m in the project.
“This $257m blowout makes it clear again that Treasurer Foley has lost control of the budget and that the traditional Labor lack of financial discipline has reappeared.
“The Treasurer is meant to have a key responsibility in ensuring Ministers and Departments stick within the budgets allocated for their capital works.
“However, this blowout comes on top of a number of other examples such as the Port River Expressway ($42m), Sturt Street School ($5m) and Lyell McEwin Hospital ($15.5m).
“Labor’s lack of financial discipline is also shown by its wrong priorities such as wasting $70-100m on opening bridges in Mr Foley’s electorate and $51m on extending tram lines to North Adelaide.
“Mr Foley must now publicly confirm the Cabinet submission estimate of $317m and explain how he has allowed a $257m blowout in just two years.”