Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson has accused Member for Kiama Gareth Ward of playing despicable party- politics with health services after she revealed for the first time her offer of bipartisan political support to upgrade Shellharbour Hospital was snubbed by the Liberal MP.
“I wrote to Mr Ward on 23 June 2014 offering clear bipartisan support for the upgrade of Shellharbour Hospital.
“We agreed he was to arrange a meeting with the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, which was scheduled to take place on 14 July 2014 at 2.30pm.
“But the meeting never took place because Mr Ward’s office cancelled the meeting with no explanation and it was never re-scheduled”, she said.
Ms Watson said that her letter to Mr Ward on 23 June made clear her attempts to offer bipartisan support for the upgrade of Shellharbour Hospital:
“Just a short note to re-confirm, following our earlier discussion today at Shellharbour City Council, that I would be keen to join with you in any meetings you are planning to schedule with the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District or Shellharbour Hospital management, to discuss the upgrade of Shellharbour Hospital.
“There will be a very clear difference between us on the funding method with you clearly endorsing the privatisation of electricity, while I shall oppose this.
“Nonetheless, I do agree with you that, as far as possible, especially within the context of the next State election in March, it is important that the upgrade of Shellharbour Hospital should be a matter of bipartisanship. I remain always more than happy to discuss strategy and tactics on this matter with you at your convenience.”
(Letter to Gareth Ward MP, 23 June 2014, attached).
“Mr Ward has decided on the eve of an election to play party-politics with Shellharbour Hospital with a pointless, time-wasting electioneering petition stunt.
“He just needs to get out his diary and we can go see the Minister together to put bipartisan support on the table for the upgrade of Shellharbour Hospital”, Ms Watson said.
22 December 2014