The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS (15:04): My question is directed to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. Will the minister update the council on progress on delivering commitments on The Queen Elizabeth Hospital?
The Hon. S.G. WADE (Minister for Health and Wellbeing) (15:04):
I thank the honourable member for his question. This morning, I had the privilege of turning the first sod in the building of the new car park at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital. I acknowledge that I have given an undertaking to the Hon. Tung Ngo that I will consider naming that car park after him considering that in the Transforming Health select committee the member became known as the shadow minister for car parks. Sorry, it would have been the minister, wouldn't it? Perhaps it was the assistant minister assisting the minister for health for car parks. This is an important moment in the redevelopment of TQEH and, seriously, the Hon. Tung Ngo particularly had an interest in TQEH, being a man of the western suburbs.
The Marshall Liberal government is investing more than $270 million in TQEH. These funds will support community access to quality health care in a modern hospital setting. The new car park extension is due for completion in mid-2019 and will support the increase in future services. The $17.4 million invested specifically in the car park will deliver a multideck, five-level car park providing 500 parking spaces for patients, families and visitors. Importantly, this will include more than 70 accessible spaces for people living with disabilities.
I know the Minister for Human Services will be pleased to hear that I am advised that that number of disability car parks is well above what is required. My understanding is that it is in the order of at least five times what is actually required. This should be a facility which is broadly accessible for not only people with disabilities but other people with mobility issues such as families with young children and older people.
As the car park construction gets underway, planning for the new services for the next stage of redevelopment continues with the recent establishment of reference groups to support and advise the redevelopment of the new TQEH clinical services building. The reference groups will play a key role in consultation, ensuring genuine clinician, consumer and community input into the project. This has included working closely with the SA Ambulance Service to ensure access to the emergency department is maintained during works. A new pathway has been completed. One of the first tasks for construction will be a new public road so that access to the ED will continue unaffected. It is intended that construction of the new clinical services building will begin on the site of the current car park at the end of 2019.
The capital works underway demonstrates the difference between the Marshall Liberal government and the previous Labor government. When we make a commitment we deliver. Labor promised redevelopment of TQEH stage 3 twice, in 2010 and again in 2014, but on neither occasion did the people of the western suburbs see the project delivered. Labor dumped the stage 3 redevelopment and spent the money on Transforming Health as services at the TQEH were downgraded.
The Marshall Liberal government committed to the re-establishment of 24/7 cardiac services at the hospital. In June we delivered on that commitment. The Marshall Liberal government is delivering the stage 3 redevelopment. Unlike Labor, who broke the promises on the redevelopment twice, today we are demonstrating that we are delivering it, and I did so in the presence of one of the local members, Mr Cowdrey.
Labor can't be trusted on health. The Marshall Liberal government will continue to work to clean up the mess and support the South Australian health system.