HIGH ON LIST: Lawrence Springborg vows to make the Southern Downs a priority.
HIGH ON LIST: Lawrence Springborg vows to make the Southern Downs a priority. Jenna Cairney

Portfolio wont shift local focus

THE state's new Minister for Health Lawrence Springborg has promised he won't forget his Southern Downs constituents as he takes on the management of more than 200 hospitals across Queensland.

Mr Springborg said his electorate was important and would be factored in to his new duties.

"My electorate is so important to me, it always has been and always will be," he said.

"This will consume some of my time because I've got a state-wide obligation.

"But I will be making sure that the Southern Downs remains a very high priority in my action and in my attendance at community events."

Rural health is obviously close to his heart, and Mr Springborg believes that increasing the capacity of our regional hospitals is part of the solution.

"I want to go back to more of a local area model along the lines of a board structure for rural hospitals," he said.

"I'm not rushing into these things. I want to make sure our facilities meet the need and I'll no doubt do a lot of those things in consultation with the community.

"Do I think there's going to be miracles? Will every issue be fixed? No."

But for now Mr Springborg is just happy to have a chance to make a difference in a portfolio that covers a quarter of the state's budget.

"I really am enthusiastic and feeling energetic about it," he said.

"I love the opportunity to make a difference."

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