Confusion over costings arrangements for the proposed move of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital to the new Royal Adelaide Hospital site reveals the depth of Weatherill Labor Government disunity and dysfunction.
Health Minister Snelling was caught unaware of costing arrangements for the WCH move on radio this morning – unable to even confirm whether part-time Treasurer Weatherill had made budgetary allowances for the shift.
Byner: Jack, how much has been put aside in the next budget to facilitate this …?
Snelling: that’s an issue for the Treasurer whether he’s made allowance for it. We don’t..
Byner: Well hang on a minute. Snelling: Well Leon, Leon.. Byner: Well no, you’re making an announcement, the first question people rang me this morning to ask you … is it being funded, what’s been put aside currently, an obvious question.
Snelling: Well Leon 2023 is well beyond the Forward Estimates. The Forward Estimates go for 4 years this’ll be part of the very advanced, you know very advanced planning.
Byner: So there’s nothing in the next budget for any of this?
Snelling: Well there might be some money for the planning work that will begin. We’ll have to have a look and just see whether we need to fund that.
“It is also clear from a number of interviews that the government has not even done a basic costing of the hospital and is only claiming that it will cost at least $600 million!” said Shadow Health Minister Rob Lucas.
“Given the new Women’s Hospital in Victoria cost $1 billion six years ago no-one believes the Weatherill Government’s costing of $600 million.
“Internal Labor Party division has quickly become South Australian Government dysfunction.
“Clearly Premier Weatherill and Minister Snelling are not talking – it is unfathomable that 48 hours after announcing the move of a major metropolitan hospital the Health Minister cannot answer whether the Treasurer has made allowances in the State Budget.
“So divided is Mr Weatherill’s cabinet that Minister Snelling couldn’t even confirm that money had been set aside for the planning element of the proposed hospital shift.
“Mr Snelling’s axing from the Treasury portfolio has clearly soured his relationship with Premier Weatherill.
“South Australians deserve a functional government focused on getting our state back on track.”