STATE Opposition Leader David Crisafulli remains ambiguous about whether the LNP would fund a new Cooktown Hospital if elected in October next year.
Speaking at a “health crisis town meeting” in Cooktown on Monday, a week out from the state budget announcement, Mr Crisafulli put the funding issue firmly back onto the incumbent government.
“The business case has been sitting on the Premier’s desk for a long time,” he said at what was the 32nd town meeting he’s staged in Queensland to discuss health.
“Let’s have a look at what the government does first.
“There is still 18 months before the next election and I sincerely hope that it doesn’t have to get to an election for a commitment to be made for something that this community deserves.
“In the meantime, I’m going to put the government on notice – this is the budget to show the people of Cooktown that you’re serious about their welfare.”
The Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service has put together a business case for the new hospital but is waiting for funding.
The LNP leader said in addition to the need for a new hospital, reinstating maternity services in Cooktown and Weipa was essential.
Housing and crime were also major issues, he said.
“It boils down to service delivery,” Mr Crisafulli told the small crowd.
“Service delivery is breaking down in this state and the further you are away from the capital, the more these things are pronounced and impact your daily life.”
Many of the 15 local attendees were current or former doctors, nurses and Queensland Health staff, who brought issues to the Opposition Leader, including the need for dedicated local dementia and disabled care, and more aged care beds.
Mr Crisafulli committed to cutting waiting list times for those needing surgery, asking locals to send details to his office of anyone stuck on a surgery list for excessively long.
“It’s bloody fulfilling to be able to do that for people,” he said of his success in advocating on behalf of those stuck on surgery waiting lists.
The Member for Broadwater also said that locals would know the LNP candidate for Cook well in advance of the elections.
“We will preselect someone who is from here, who understands the place and, more importantly, will be able to go in to bat for you,” he said.
“We will have someone who will have a red-hot crack for you.”