SUNSHINE Coast MPs have jumped on the Traveston Crossing Dam decision, calling on the State Government to put funds from the project to a new hospital at Kawana.

"Any funds set aside for the construction of the Traveston Dam should be immediately funnelled into building the Sunshine Coast University Hospital," LNP Health spokesman Mark McArdle said today.

"With the announcement today from the Federal Environment Minister that Traveston will not be built, the Bligh Labor Government has no excuse not to build the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

“The Bligh Labor Government has wasted $500 million already.

“We know a further $1 billion has been set aside to complete the construction. 

“That money is no longer required and should immediately be diverted towards the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

“We have waited long enough and suffered enough on the Sunshine Coast. 

Member for Kawana, Jarrod Bleijie, said the only reason that was given for the delay, announced in June, was that the global financial crisis had forced the Government to re-think spending.

 “The Sunshine Coast University Hospital is a capital expenditure item in the budget as was Traveston and given the comparative cost, there is no reason that the $1 billion earmarked for the dam can’t be used to build this hospital,'' Mr Bleijie said.
 “When the delay of construction of the 450 bed facility was announced in June, the cost blew out from $1.21 billion to $1.57 billion.  “We have a chance to cut the waste in spending by delaying the project and significantly increase the public bed numbers on the Sunshine Coast – a win for everyone. More than 1500 people protested the State Government's decision to delay construction of the hospital on Sunday at a rally organised by the Kawana MP and the Sunshine Coast University Hospital Action Group.

The cost of the hospital has blown out to $1.57 billion, from the $500 million when Peter Beattie first announced it.

“We now need to have those funds committed to the speedy construction of the new public hospital,'' Mr McArdle said.

Sunshine Coast mayor Bob Abbot, in Noosa, said he was 'ecstatic' about the decision.

"It's almost like having a very large lump off my right shoulder,'' Mr Abbot said.

"Peter Garrett thank you. It was a decision that had to be made. You made it with honour and dignity.''

Member for Noosa Glen Elmes also congratulated Mr Garrett.

“It is the right decision for the entire Mary Valley – right for both residents and endangered species and right for the environment and food security,” said Mr Elmes said.

“This is a great win for Peter Garrett because it shows that he can make a decision based on science and not political opportunism.

"It is his first substantial decision in favour of the environment, and especially in favour of the Mary Valley.

“It’s also a win for the Queensland government because, thanks to their fiscal failures, they will not have to add to the current deficit by building a dam which was unaffordable in the first place.

“And yet - perhaps fittingly on this day of remembrance – let’s also not forget the significant trauma caused by Labor in it’s callous attitude and treatment of the communities in the Mary Valley.

"We will remember the tragedy of people put through years of torment for a long time,'' the Noosa MP said.


Garrett rejects Traveston Dam

Read the transcript of Peter Garrett's Traveston dam announcement

Do you think funds from the dam project should go towards a new hospital at Kawana? Leave your comments below...

Shining the light on Fraser Coast's domestic violence

premium_icon Shining the light on Fraser Coast's domestic violence

New research on domestic and family violence hits Fraser Coast

Victims to victors: tough lesson gives way to help others

premium_icon Victims to victors: tough lesson gives way to help others

Howard couple welcome commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

Woolooga Fire Disaster Day 3: Strong winds imminent threat

Woolooga Fire Disaster Day 3: Strong winds imminent threat

Woolooga fire heading for Miva, Theebine, Scotchy Pocket and Gunalda

Local Partners