Repatriation General Hospital

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS (14:35): My question is directed to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. Will the minister update the council on the government's plans for the redevelopment of the Repat site?

The Hon. S.G. WADE (Minister for Health and Wellbeing) (14:35): I thank the honourable member for his question. I had the pleasure early this week to update the house in relation to the reopening of the hydrotherapy pool at the Repat, and the hope that that gives to many community users throughout the south. The essence of the government's plans for the redevelopment of the Repat site, or the evolution of the planning, the key point will be consultation. There will be opportunities for the community to consult in relation to planning, and there will be two steps at least in terms of the master planning process for the site.

We were elected on 17 March, and one of the messages that came to the government very clearly from South Australians was that they expected the government to listen to them, not just on one Saturday every four years but on an ongoing basis. We heard that from South Australians who felt betrayed by Labor's broken promise to never ever close the Repat. We heard the community when they called for the Repat site to be saved from a sell-off and, for its part, the Marshall Liberal government, having made a commitment to stop that sell-off, when we had the opportunity in government we terminated the contract for sale.

In this regard I was interested in the comments from the member for Lee in the other place. In response to my decision to terminate the previous government's contract he said:

They need to realise that the job of government is not just making sure there's a nice story in the paper every morning, that there are well articulated, well thought out policies.

Let's be clear: this was six weeks after we were elected to government. I terminated the contract that day, and the opposition was demanding that I put down another master plan. They had done two artist's impressions of what the Repat site might look like; what they thought was needed was another artist's impression. What I think is needed is a government that has the respect for the people of South Australia to actually engage them in consultation.

The rank hypocrisy of the Labor party, which I think either before or soon after had a listening post in the north-eastern suburbs, where of course we all know they lost three seats because they didn't listen to the community, yet the member for Lee is out there criticising me for not doing what they do so well, which is showing deafness to the people of South Australia.

People in health know full well the cost they are paying for the previous government's deafness. They have seen it with a $2.4 billion NRAH, where the government failed to engage clinicians in the design; they have seen it in the EPAS disaster; and they have seen it in Transforming Health. I can assure you that the Marshall Liberal government will not follow that appalling precedent. Our planning, particularly in the Repat, will be consultative.

I am proud that a mere five weeks after the election we did the termination. I think today is two months to the day since this government was elected.

The Hon. R.I. Lucas: Happy anniversary.

The Hon. S.G. WADE: Thank you. I must admit I wasn't sworn in for another five or six days, but be that as it may, I have the privilege tonight to be invited by the honourable member for Waite and the honourable member for Elder to speak to their communities about the government's plans for the Repat site and also to listen, not to take the bait of the arrogant member for Lee and his Labor mates.

We will take our time, because it actually does take time to listen. It takes time to produce credible options for the community to consult on, and tonight I will be very pleased to outline to the people of the south how different it will be under a Marshall Liberal government, how different it will be to have a government that respects you enough to consult you.