I suppose you could say that it is a good idea.
I suppose you could say that more is better –a view that prevails in the United States of America.
And, we could also say that we shall wait and see what happens.
Because the announcement, made by the Queensland Government, that if re-elected, they would spend $265 million dollars on building three satellite hospitals in the Moreton Bay Region, one in Petrie, one in Caboolture, and one explicitly dedicated for Bribie Island, smacks of an election promise with too many legs.
Examine this announcement for a moment.
One in Petrie. OK. Good, Where will it be, and what will a ‘satellite ‘ hospital actually do?
One in Caboolture. Mmmm – OK. There is already an outstanding hospital in Caboolture – an outstanding one indeed, supplemented by an excellent private hospital. So, what will another satellite hospital actually do?
And, then there is one explicitly dedicated for Bribie Island.
Now, what does that mean?
Well, this is where the whole thing gets a bit blurred around the edges.
You see, we have one to be placed in Petrie, where and when and what purpose is yet to be determined.
You see, we have one to be placed in Caboolture, presumably alongside existing facilities which are outstanding. So what is the point of having something there?
And then there is one explicitly dedicated for Bribie Island…
Now the Queensland Government, through the conduit of the local Member for Pumicestone, Ali King, have announced that the proposal will need a viability study to determine just what is required and where it all should be?
Excuse me? Yes, you heard right – we now have to have a viability study or words to that effect, to determine just what this project will do and where it will do it.
Excluding the obvious, which is being pedantic, I ask the question…
“ Before you announce a triple satellite hospital development for Petrie, Caboolture and specifically Bribie Island, would you not already know where these places are going and what they will do?’
Private enterprise would, no question about that.
So, alright, let us assume that the study proceeds and the proposal is more than just another empty banging noise in an election campaign.
Whereabouts on Bribie Island would you place another satellite hospital? Where?
There is no apparent available land, maybe one large block out at Woorim, but privately owned and already perhaps sold, to the State Government.?
Then again, you are the State Government so you can resume land for specific purposes; perhaps that is to be included in the viability plan/study?
We have not even got to where this thing will be yet, and already the page is full of questions…unanswered questions at that.
We know where the private enterprise medical hub is going to be, and we know what it is going to do because all of the details are included in the Moreton Bay Council papers, which were released last year.
And that is what you would expect from a well organized and serious Local Government body and a well organized and serious private enterprise body; both of them intent upon providing a much-needed service to the community of Bribie Island.
The medical hub will be located on Bribie Island, as you would expect from a medical service explicitly dedicated to Bribie Island.
Curiosity draws us back, like a moth to a flame, to the proposal of the Queensland State Government and the electoral promise made by the Member for Pumicestone, Ali King.
Curiosity demands that we ask the question, in the light of the details of what the private enterprise medical hub will achieve, what will the Labor Government’s satellite do on Bribie Island?
Will this taxpayer-funded satellite hospital be a competitor? Or a supplement?
Experience has shown that Government enterprises competing with private enterprises end up with the Government enterprise resembling the Benny Hill Show.
But the most intriguing question of all remains to be answered.
Just precisely, what does explicitly dedicated to Bribie Island mean?
Does it mean located on the Island? If so, where? Or, does it mean close to the Island, like on the mainland at Ningi? If that is the case, will the facility be dedicated only to Bribie Islanders and how the hell will that work?
Now, what we have done here is just ask a few fundamental questions, and we have been able to expose some bloody big holes in the election promise; yes, we have!
That does not mean that the questions can’t be answered – it just means that we are waiting for answers to legitimate questions about the use of taxpayers money for developing satellite hospitals explicitly dedicated to Bribie Island.
We are waiting for the answers.
You can contact the office of the Local Member for Pumicestone, Ali King and ask the question.
I shall be – and I shall be asking the questions until I get the answer.
But then again, you could say that if the question is too hard to answer, or the election promise is too hard to deliver, you could always hope that the viability study, or whatever it is called, would determine that the project is not viable and cannot go ahead!
Now that would let you off the hook, wouldn’t it?