Royal Children's Hospital: funding

Mr SOUTHWICK (Caulfield) — My question is to the Treasurer. Is the Treasurer aware that the Royal Children’s Hospital made a request for capital funding that was rejected by the former Labor government, leaving a multimillion-dollar black hole, and is he further aware that Labor’s decision has put at risk key clinical care areas, including the emergency department and the neonatal intensive care unit?


Mr WELLS (Treasurer) — Another day, another financial mess left by the previous Brumby government. Virtually every day we find another black hole which has been left by the previous government. The Herald Sun reported today the sorry tale of the IT system at the Royal Children’s Hospital. This brand-new hospital is a $1 billion project, and the previous government boasted about its benefits.


However, we are just uncovering another black hole which shows that although it was building a brand-new hospital, it had done it without upgrading the clinical IT systems which underpin areas such as the emergency department and neonatal and paediatric intensive care units.


In a modern society you would expect that we would have the very best software and IT equipment, and the Herald Sun is quite right to say this is a bungle. What the Labor Party was going to do was have this hospital open without the latest IT equipment. I do not know whether the previous health minister, the now Leader of the Opposition, was hoping for a punch card or abacus system, but that is not the way the Baillieu government would work. I point out the fact that Slim Dusty had a pub with no beer, but for the former health minister to have a brand-new hospital without an IT system is simply not acceptable.


To make it worse, the shadow Minister for Health today said that the former government was going to put in a bid and have it considered for the 2011-12 budget. That is what the shadow Minister for Health was going to do. Is it not funny that for 11 years you have all these bungles but in the 12th year Labor was going to fix everything? This is another legacy of the of the Brumby government. Every time we turn over another rock there is another financial mess left by the previous government.


Ms Allan — On a point of order, Speaker, I refer you to page 155 of Rulings from the Chair, November 2010, where we find a previous Speaker has ruled that in relation to a matters concerning a previous government’s administration, ministers in answering questions — —


Honourable members interjecting.


The SPEAKER — Order! I have said previously that I want points of order heard in silence.


Ms Allan — The ruling is that ministers when answering questions should make only passing reference to the activities of a previous government. I ask that you direct the minister to concern himself with matters regarding his actions.


The SPEAKER — Order! I have heard enough. I do not uphold the point of order.


Mr WELLS — What the Baillieu government would like to know is: who was the minister responsible for building a $1 billion hospital without an IT system? Which minister would be so reckless and irresponsible as to do that? As I said: another day, another financial mess.


The SPEAKER — Order! The member for Kilsyth is on his second warning.


Mr WELLS — This is the legacy of the Brumby government.

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