Liberals And Nationals Must Come Clean On Which Hospital Projects They’ll Cut

28 September 2022

Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas today called on Matthew Guy’s Liberals and Nationals to come clean on the future of 10 already jeopardised promises – which are at risk of being cut after the Opposition’s embarrassing backflip on regional hospital funding.

It was only last month that Matthew Guy and Peter Walsh were crowing about the $8 billion they would spend on regional hospitals, with Mr Walsh stating:

“There was $35 billion locked into one city project, but under a Liberal and Nationals Government $8 billion of this will be redirected to our regional hospitals to address our health crisis.”

Media ReleaseExternal Link – 17 August 2022

But today it’s been revealed Matthew Guy’s Liberals and Nationals will break that promise, slashing $5-6 billion from regional hospitals.

The Opposition has promised the following projects:

• West Gippsland Hospital

• Mildura Hospital

• Albury/Wodonga Hospital

• New Shepparton Cancer Centre and Health School

• Upgraded Daylesford Hospital

• Redevelopment of St Arnaud Hospital

• Daylesford Hospital

• Mansfield District Hospital

• Cobram Hospital

• Dialysis unit for Benalla Hospital

Embarrassingly, Mr Walsh said today:

“Until we made our announcement (about shelving the first stage of the project) Labor never said anything about other sources of funding.”

The AgeExternal Link – 28 September 2022

But the state funding for the Suburban Rail Loop was very clearly set out in the Budget, handed down 107 days ago:

Announced funding to date for the SRL East totals $11.8 billion, covering development and planning costs, Initial and Early Works and a provision towards the Main Works packages.”

Victorian Budget 2022/23 – Budget Paper 4External Link , page 12

And as far back as last January, Shadow Treasurer David Davis was surveying voters about “value capture opportunities.”

SurveyExternal Link on David Davis’ website – 28 January 2021

The Liberals and Nationals have been caught out lying to regional Victorians.

Jeff Kennett described regional Victoria as the “toenails of the state”, closing hospitals in Eildon, Koroit, Mortlake, Murtoa, Red Cliffs, Macarthur, Clunes, Beeac, Birregurra and Lismore, Elmore and Waranga.

If he gets the chance – Matthew Guy’s Liberals will do exactly the same thing.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas

“Normally you have to wait until after an election for the Liberals to start cutting health – Matthew Guy’s Liberals need to come clean on exactly how much they will cut from regional Victorian hospitals.”

“You can’t trust the Liberals – they’ve closed more hospitals than they’ve opened, and they’ll do it again if they get the chance.”

“The Liberal and National party leaders Matthew Guy and Peter Walsh need to explain their cruel hoax. They have dug a funding black hole for themselves – and can't get out.”

Reviewed 28 September 2022

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