Lib-Nats Commit to SH Hospital with $44 Million
The campaigning from the Swan Hill Needs a New Hospital Committee and the local community has seen its first tangible result, with the Liberal-Nationals announcing $44 million this morning if elected in November.
State opposition leader Matthew Guy and Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh made the announcement this morning in front of the hospital, with committee chair Les McPhee on hand to celebrate the funding pledge.
Mr Guy says through Walsh and McPhee's efforts, it was tough to ignore and had to be done.
"The issue was raised at parliament house, and we'd had discussions before regarding the region," Guy said.
"It was just a natural fit to come back and talk about the hospital."
Mr Guy says while the commitment is short of the full amount required for a full redevelopment, it's enough to get essential works underway.
"This money is so important because it gets the upgrades needed done addressed right now," Guy said.
"These figures were what was given to us to get the development underway; there's money needed beyond that but we'll look at that when it's needed."
Guy also took his opportunity to highlight Labor's hospital funding elsewhere, with a new $1.5bn hospital announced for Footscray yesterday.
"If (Premier Daniel Andrews) had announced $1.456bn, then $44 million could have come here and both jobs could have been done."
"You have to govern for the whole state, and this Government isn't doing it."
Mr Walsh says it's a great day for the region after months of work.
“It’s Swan Hill’s turn now," Mr Walsh said.
"Our community has united behind the campaign to rebuild our hospital and under a Liberal Nationals government, Matthew and I will make sure it happens.”
The Labor Government has yet to give any indication of its level of commitment to the project; Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp has been contacted for comment.
Mr McPhee says they're still holding out hope the current government follows suit.
"They say they govern for the whole of the state; here's their chance to show it," McPhee said.
"We're certainly hoping for a Labor commitment, let's say that. We'll be pushing right up up to the death knock, right up to the day of the election."
The events run by the Swan Hill Need a New Hospital Committee will continue as planned, with the community photo still taking place this weekend at the clock tower, as the committee attempts to keep the campaign in the public eye.
The announcement comes 46 days out from the November state election.