Hospital lobby group cuts out Foley

FOR the second time in the past 18 months, independent state member for Maryborough Chris Foley will be sidelined when a petition from his electorate concerning the Maryborough Hospital is presented to parliament.

Instead, LNP Member for Hervey Bay Ted Sorenson has been chosen to table the petition after the Maryborough Hospital Lobby Group snubbed Mr Foley.

A petition for dialysis beds at Maryborough Hospital with more than 8000 signatures was tabled in April last year by Gympie MP David Gibson after he was approached by the lobby group.

At the time of presenting the petition to Mr Gibson, LNP candidate for Maryborough Mrs Anne Maddern said the lobby group chose Mr Gibson as dialysis patients from Maryborough were being transferred to hospital in his Gympie electorate.

Mrs Maddern, who will contest the state election against Mr Foley within the next year, denied the current petition was being used for political purposes.

She said the lobby group had approached Mr Sorensen in an effort to unite the Hervey Bay and Maryborough hospitals.

“If Ted Sorensen presented it, it indicates the two hospitals were working together,” she said.

“We are trying to create a hospital system that services the both communities.”

When asked about Mr Sorensen's involvement, Mr Foley said it was a strange decision by the lobby group after Mr Gibson had tabled the previous petition.

The current petition has been signed by more than 5600 residents from the Fraser Coast.

It concerns the upgrade of the emergency department and birthing facilities at the Maryborough Hospital.

Wide Bay Health Service District CEO Ken Whelan said the Maryborough Hospital would be developed as a hub for rehabilitation services and elective day surgery.

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