Pre-budget announcements made by the Treasurer and Minister for Health for the Central Coast and Western Sydney in recent weeks appear to indicate that there will be very little in the 2016-17 State Budget for the promised $250 million upgrade of Shellharbour Hospital.
The Treasurer and Minister for Health have been busily pre-empting budget spending on Gosford Hospital and Westmead Hospital with announcements made as late as yesterday.
But with five days to go before the Treasurer hands down the 2016-17 State Budget on Tuesday afternoon, no pre-budget announcement has been made about funding for the upgrade of Shellharbour Hospital.
A clue on why may lie in the Treasurer’s press release dated 6 June 2016 announcing $133 million towards the revamp of Gosford Hospital:
“This $133 million allocation is the biggest regional investment in health infrastructure across the state in the Budget.”
Similarly, there has been no pre-budget announcement of any funding for the construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass.
Comments attributable to Anna Watson MP:
“It appears the cupboard will be bare for new funding commitments by the Government in next week’s budget for the upgrade of Shellharbour Hospital and the construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass.
“There are only five more days until the Treasurer hands down the NSW Budget next Tuesday and there hasn’t been a single pre-budget announcement from anyone in the Government about new funding for these two crucial infrastructure projects.
“It’s no wonder the Government has fought me every step of the way for the last 16 months and still refuses to publicly put up a construction timetable for the upgrade of Shellharbour Hospital and the construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass.
“It appears there will be precious little in next week’s budget for the Illawarra.”
16 June 2016