The Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee has decided to conduct an inquiry into progress on the new Royal Adelaide Hospital project.
“There have been growing concerns about multimillion dollar cost blowouts and delays in the completion of the project which require an investigation by a parliamentary committee,” said Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas.
“Evidence from SA Health CEO David Swan this week raised publicly for the first time that a major dispute with the builder over remediation of land costs could lead to delays in the project.
“Given Minister Snelling’s recent claims the project was on schedule for April 2016 completion, he needs to explain why a legal dispute over compensation for remediation work already completed could lead to a delay in the project.
“There is a clear inconsistency now in the Government’s and Mr Snelling’s positions. If the project is on schedule as claimed by Mr Snelling, then a legal dispute on compensation for work already completed cannot be used as a reason for a delay in the project.
“It would appear Mr Swan’s evidence to the Committee was the start of an attempt by the Government to use this compensation dispute as an excuse for a delay in the delivery of the project.”
Other issues that will be investigated by the Committee include:
• Whether Government promises that all health services provided at the RAH will be provided at the NRAH will be kept;
• The extent of cost blowouts on the project, including additional costs to SA Health for providing services such as the transportation of pathology samples between the NRAH and SA Pathology on Frome Road;
• Industrial relations and worker safety issues on site; and,
• The impact of the delays in the Government’s controversial EPAS project given planning for the NRAH to be a ‘paperless’ hospital.
The Committee will take evidence from the project builders, SA Health and other stakeholder groups such as the AMA, SASMOA and RNF.