$30 Million in funding at the Repat Hospital

04 Apr 2019 speech

Ms FLINT (Boothby) (16:15): Only the Morrison government has a plan for a strong economy. It's a plan that busts congestion, lowers taxes and eases cost-of-living pressures on Australians and their families. And only the Morrison government will guarantee the essential services that all Australians rely on, like hospitals and Medicare, because of our plan for a strong economy. And it is a plan that is working.

My local residents in the electorate of Boothby are seeing this firsthand at the Repatriation General Hospital site in Daw Park, in the heart of my electorate. This is a very significant hospital precinct for my local community. It is a place that was closed down by the former state Labor government. All of those opposite—and there are no South Australians in the chamber—every single federal member of the Labor opposition from South Australia stood by and let this happen. It was a disgraceful decision and it was yet another broken Labor promise.

Former Premier Mike Rann said that the Repat hospital would never, ever be closed under a Labor government, and yet that's what they did. It devastated my veterans' community—in fact, it devastated the entire veterans' community in South Australia—and it devastated my local community, because not only was it an iconic hospital for our veterans but it was also a general community hospital. So many of my local residents had used it or had family members who had been nursed there as well.

Under the Morrison government and the Marshall government, we are revitalising the Repat; reactivating the Repat for my local community and returning health services to the precinct. This is a project that I've been working on for years, and I'm so proud to be delivering this for my community. I cannot thank the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, enough for his support, and also the Minister for Health and Wellbeing in South Australia, Stephen Wade.

Thanks to our strong economic management, the federal government will deliver $30 million in funding for a brain and spinal injury unit at the Repat hospital. This will be state-of-the-art. We will care for people who most need our support in our community there. The federal government will also fund a specialist dementia care unit, and the state government is providing additional funding to make sure that some of the most vulnerable people in our community receive the care and careful attention that they need.

Unfortunately, under the previous Labor government in South Australia, we had the Oakden disaster—a scandal that cost people their lives and saw people mistreated terribly by the healthcare system. A lot of these people had dementia, or they had very severe mental health issues. They were all senior Australians. This will not happen at the Repat; we are investing in the very
best dementia care on the Repat site, and our most vulnerable residents will never again be out of sight or out of mind. That's what they were under the previous state Labor government.

So I'm incredibly proud of what we're doing in the health space, and I'm just going to run through some of the record funding that we're providing for health in our nation. We're investing a record $104 billion in 2019-20, up from $75 billion in 2012-13. That will guarantee Medicare and it will make life-saving medicines and services more accessible and more affordable. It will reduce out-of-pocket costs and strengthen primary care. And we will invest in breakthrough medical research.

Only our government is increasing Medicare funding by $6 billion to $30.7 billion in 2022-23. We are also making sure that our hospitals are funded; we are increasing hospital funding by $5 billion, up from $21.7 billion in 2018-19 to $26.2 billion in 2022-23. These are big numbers; we are investing record amounts of money in our hospital system and in our healthcare system.

In my part of the world, by investing in crucial local roads we are making sure people can actually get to hospital and do so on time and as safely as possible. We are investing in the North-South Corridor, in the Flinders Link rail project, in the Fullarton Road and Cross Road intersection, in the Springbank, Daws, Goodwood roads intersection, and we are fixing Oaklands crossing. I am so proud of our strong economic plan and the things we are delivering for the nation, but particularly for South Australia.