Local, Independant and Effective
April 22, 2016

Wangaratta community deserves answers to $10 million funding commitment claim

On behalf of the people of Wangaratta, Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is calling on the Federal Government to answer questions about the claim of a $10 million funding commitment for an upgrade at the Wangaratta Hospital.

Ms McGowan wants Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minster for Health, Sussan Ley, to clarify the situation about any funding commitment for the Wangaratta Hospital in place before the 2013 Federal election.

Appearing on Paul Murray Live on Thursday, April 21, the Liberal candidate claimed $10 million in funding was going to be announced after the 2013 Federal election for the Wangaratta Hospital upgrade. The Liberal candidate claimed this money was held back because people voted an Independent into the seat.

Ms McGowan will be asking the Government to confirm that the unannounced $10 million commitment was in place before the 2013 election. “If this claim is true, Government must answer key questions,” Ms McGowan said.

  • Was there a $10 million funding commitment in place before the 2013 election?
  • What were the conditions of the funding commitment?
  • Was Northeast Health Wangaratta (NHW) aware of the funding commitment?
  • Who made the decision to terminate the funding commitment?
  • Will the Government now publicly commit to fund NHW’s upgrade?

“I’m disappointed for the people of Wangaratta. The Wangaratta Hospital cares for real people with real health issues and these renovations are desperately needed. This is taxpayers’ money, it is not Liberal Party money to be used for party politics.

“There is a desperate need for more beds and increased capacity to deliver services. NHW is a major employer, the staff members are very professional and do an outstanding job for our communities.”

NHW has a Master Plan for a significant $22 million upgrade to meet the expansion of services. NHW has a catchment population of 90,000. “We have been lobbying hard at the Federal level for funding for this project,” Ms McGowan said.

Ms McGowan said the Wangaratta community was doing its part to help the hospital continue delivering first-rate services. “To date people have donated more than $235,000 for the proposed Community Care Centre,” she said.

“The Prime Minister has made it clear politics needs to be done in a different way. I call on Prime Minister Turnbull to pay serious attention to what has occurred in this instance and provide answers to the people of Wangaratta,” Ms McGowan said.

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