Health Minister visits Kingaroy Hospital
MONDAY, 1.30PM: Health Minister Cameron Dick is visiting Kingaroy today following the funding announcement for a new Kingaroy Hospital.
Hear what Mr Dick has to say live below.
TUESDAY, JUNE 13: AN EXPANDED Works for Queensland package, roads funding, and a new Kingaroy Hospital were just some items announced in the 2017-18 Queensland State Budget on Tuesday.
Treasurer Curtis Pitt announced $200 million in extra Works for Queensland funding, which will be allocated to councils around the State to spend on projects of their choice.
South Burnett Regional Council received $4.26 million of the original funding earlier this year, though Mayor Keith Campbell said they did not know what they were going to receive this time around.
About $1.1 million has been allocated for State-owned roads across two years for the construction of roundabouts on sections of the D'Aguilar Highway between Yarraman and Kingaroy.
About $2 million has been allocated over the next three years for locally-owned roads for works such as the constructions of cycleways, footpaths, and sealing.
More than $60 million of State Government funding will be used to build a "modern, contemporary hospital", according to Darling Downs Hospital and Health Board chairman Mike Horan.
Mr Horan said the current plan was for most of the old hospital to be demolished.
"Some parts might be retained for other services," he said.
"This will be a modern, contemporary hospital."
About $8 million has been set apart in the 2017-18 State Budget, handed down by Treasurer Curtis Pitt in Brisbane on Tuesday, to redevelop the Kingaroy Hospital.
It is part of a $62 million total spend to redevelop the hospital.
Mr Horan said he was delighted by the announcement.
"The hospital has been the number one capital works priority for us," he said.
"To get this amount of money in the budget, under a four-year funding arrangement, will enable us to get started on it.
"It's great news for Kingaroy and the South Burnett."
He said the $8 million in the 2017-18 budget would be used for detailed planning and early works.
"It could well bring new services, but this is about providing for the existing and some new services," he said.
"It will all be in the detailed planning."
Mr Horan said he expected the new hospital would be completed at the end of the four years, sometime in 2021 or 2022.
The funding is part of a $128.4 million package over four years to redevelop or replace Kingaroy, Blackall and Sarina Hospitals, fit-outs of Townsville Hospital's breast-screen clinic and clinical services, the replacement of the Mer (Murray Island) primary healthcare centre clinical building, and upgrades to staff accommodation across Queensland.
Nanango MP Deb Frecklington said the announcement was "fantastic" for the South Burnett community.
"This is fantastic news for my community, who have waited too long for a better public hospital facility," Mrs Frecklington said.
"We've only had one initial allocation of $8 million, I will continue to push and make sure the full funding is delivered on the redevelopment."
Mrs Frecklington said the hospital had been her priority since getting elected in 2012, and the former Newman LNP Government had funds allocated to it when they lost government.
"The staff work in difficult conditions and it will be pleasing to see our brilliant nurses, doctors and hospital administrators get better facilities," Mrs Frecklington said.
"But more importantly patients will have facilities that a modern hospital provides.
"In my maiden speech in March 2012 I talked about maternity services and how the midwives worked in very difficult conditions, for mums delivering, this is will obviously benefit my community."
The hospital is part of an extensive package of funding for the South Burnett region, which includes:
- Tarong North Power Station overhauls worth $8 million in 2017-18 to refurbish and upgrade Tarong North Power Station.
- Meandu Mine enhancements $50.5 million in 2017-18 to develop future mining areas, replace fleet equipment, and replace and refurbish minor assets at Meandu Mine.
- Tarong Pipeline refurbishment and enhancement $1.1 million in 2017-18 to repair, maintain, renew and enhance existing water infrastructure assets and water supply schemes for the Tarong Pipeline.
- Kingaroy Hospital redevelopment $8 million in 2017-18 out of a $62 million total spend to re-develop the Kingaroy Hospital to provide quality and safe healthcare services. Part of the Rural and Regional Infrastructure Package.
- Burnett Highway pavement rehabilitation (Goomeri to Gayndah) $1.8 million in 2017-18 out of a $2.2 million total spend to continue pavement rehabilitation on the Burnett Highway from Cuttings to Gympie, due for completion in April 2018.
- Kingaroy Courthouse upgrade $4.3 million in 2017-18 out of a $5.3 million total spend to refurbish and upgrade the courthouse including an additional courtroom and providing for disabled access.
- Kingaroy State High School new multi-purpose hall $3.6 million in 2017-18 out of a $3.9 million total spend to construct a multi-purpose hall.
- Boondooma Dam spillway and side wall repair $12.9 million in 2017-18 out of a $46.2 million total spend for improvement works at Boondooma Dam including side wall repair.
- Cherbourg Wastewater Infrastructure upgrade $11.4 million in 2017-18 out of a $14.9 million total spend to provide upgrades of wastewater infrastructure.