Topics: $25 million for Peel Health Campus; Sustainable Health Review; Donations; Flinders
Hello. I’m Margaret Sturdy, I’m the Chief Executive Officer of Peel Health Campus. It gives me great delight today to introduce the Member for Canning Andrew Hastie to our site, who will introduce the federal Minister for Health.
Well, thanks very much, Margaret. It’s a pleasure to be here, and I want to thank you and all your staff for what you do for our community – it’s a great service and we do appreciate it.
Well, it is my pleasure as the Member for Canning here, representing the Peel region, to be here at the Peel Health Campus today with the Honourable Greg Hunt, federal Minister for Health, and also my State colleague Zak Kirkup, the Member for Dawesville.
We have a great announcement, and without further ado I’ll hand over to you, Greg.
Look, thanks very much to Andrew Hastie, the Member for Canning, who obviously fought for his country and he’s fought for this region, for Mandurah and the Peel. For Zak Kirkup, who’s done such a great job with the State level, and particular to Margaret and Stephanie, who are here at the Peel Health Campus literally saving lives and protecting lives.
Stephanie took us out onto the floor of the ED – we met amazing patients such as Glenda and David, and they had nothing but praise, Stephanie and Margaret, for the team in the ED.
But Glenda, unprompted, said: you know, they need more space; we need more space. And she’s absolutely right.
Andrew has made the case, the community has made the case for an expanded ED facility coupled with an expansion and a move for the medical imaging, and that’s related to the community mental health, and this is a project which brings all of these three things together – so, amazing staff supporting patients, but there are real needs going forward.
So, today I am delighted to announce $25 million for the Peel Health Campus to upgrade and expand the emergency services, the medical imaging, and the community mental health facilities, coupled with, as part of that, four out of that 25 for eating disorders, residential support here in the Peel region, here in this area.
And eating disorders can affect any family. It’s something which is of profound significance to almost a million Australians directly in any one year, and it’s a deep personal passion for Andrew and Zak and myself, because we’ve seen the families that have been affected.
I have to say, today’s the end of a long process. Andrew has fought for the Peel Health Hub for youth mental health services and community support and won that.
He fought for and won the headspace for the region and also today for a new MRI for Mandurah.
Those three are a hat trick, but this is a double hat trick because on top of it all, $25 million to transform the ED, the medical imaging, and the community mental health, and to help with eating disorders – this is about saving lives and protecting lives, and it wouldn’t have happened without Andrew.
Over to you. We’re happy to take any questions on the Peel Health Campus first and then other issues.
This health campus has been fraught with issues in recent times – misdiagnosis, people being forced to move out. Is $25 million enough and why has it taken this long to announce this funding?
Well, we’re moving on what is of course a State hospital to take our steps to address those concerns.
So, even though it should have been done at a State level, it’s been done by Andrew. He and Zak and others have made the case that we need to act and to step in and so we’ve done that.
Twenty five mil is enough, do you think?
Oh, I think it will make a massive difference and it’s been designed with the community, by the community, and for the community and it’s been worked through with Margaret and her team, and so we think that should make a very big difference.
Yes, thank you – that’s a good question. Obviously we’ve got to go through now a massive planning process to make sure that the money that has been pledged by the federal government today is spent in a way that will enhance the services and enhance the patient experience in our hospital.
Great. Anything else?
Minister, for the last two years the State Government’s been pointing to the sustainable health review as the solution to funding for this hospital.
It’s been two years, they haven’t released it yet. What discussions have you had with the State Government about money for Peel Health Campus?
Well, we would like to see them release the review and to contribute their fair share.
But do you know what? We’re getting on with the job. Andrew said: I don’t want this as an election commitment; I want this as a committed decision of government that will be delivered, and that’s what we’ve done.
So, our job is to make sure that we take care of patients and one of the things that Andrew Hastie was most insistent on is that it’s a decision, it’s a commitment, and therefore it’s fully funded and it’s not dependent on election outcomes.
Andrew, you might want to add something on that?
Sure. I do want to credit Zak Kirkup, who’s with me now. In April late last year, he started campaigning for funding for this hospital.
I joined him at a rally just across the road there in the car park of East Lakes Church. We had about 400 plus people turn up. And we continued the fight after the State Government pledged $4.4 million for a car park and $5 million for eight new beds.
And in my view, that wasn’t enough. That wasn’t enough in Zak’s view as well, and we’ve kept up the fight for more funding.
And we’ve had tremendous support from the Mandurah community – we’ve had more than 1000 people sign our petition, we’ve had people come into my office and getting signs and putting that on their front garden.
And so this has only happened because I’ve been supported so well by Zak and people in the community. And so, today, if I can say to everyone who was involved in this grassroots campaign to deliver funding to the Peel Health Campus – thank you, thank you, thank you.
You should be very proud of yourselves.
And Zak, just on the review.
Sure, on the Sustainable Health Review. On the Sustainable Health Review, the Government was slated to release it in December last year.
We now understand it might be released in March. State health expenditure represents one third of the annual budget of Western Australia.
It’s important that the Government gets it right, but I think everyone in Western Australia – practitioners, clinical services, the hospitals – want to see what’s in that review.
So- to understand what the Government’s vision in like for the coming years, and I think it’s important it’s released as soon as practicable.
On Peel Health Campus, can I just say for the impact of the Minister’s decision here today is historic in Mandurah. This hospital is, really, far too small and far too under-resourced.
People wait far too long in a room that is far too small, on issues of life and death quite literally.
And the work by Andrew, by the community, has been significant to get us to this point. It is so impressive that we have $25 million being committed right here, right now – cash in the bank – to help support our local hospital regardless.
And that is a massive credit to the Minister, and indeed to Andrew, for the advocacy, the leadership and the fight that he’s done to make sure we get a hospital that we deserve.
And again, I echo Andrew’s sentiments: to the thousands of people who have helped support us in Mandurah – thank you. You’ve fought; we’ve helped that fight; but this is really a community victory to get the hospital that we deserve in Mandurah.
Great. Any last questions?
If you don’t win the next election will this still go ahead? Will it still be delivered?
Correct. It’s a committed decision by the Government.
We can ask questions on other topics?
Yeah, feel free.
Last year, you opened the Mental Health Hub nearby. Have you been given updates as to how that’s going and why it was important to the area?
Yeah, so Andrew and I were talking about it today because it’s been a personal project for him – a real passion, and it’s been a great interest for me.
What it’s doing is it’s helping young people, it’s providing support and this is all part of the additional services that the Peel needs. And yeah, I’ve got to say, you see many good MPs around the country; there’s none better than Andrew.
Sorry, just on other topics: the Chinese businessman Huang Xiangmo has been refused citizenship for Australia.
He’s been a big donor to both sides of politics. Should political parties that took money from him be considering giving that money back?
So look, I apologise – I don’t have any of the details on the person or the case. It’s not somebody I’ve met to the best of my knowledge or otherwise. So I just don’t have the details.
Mr Hastie, could we get your response on that? Same question.
Well, it’s been reported that I’d returned money that was sent to my account, my campaign account, and I thought as the chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee for Intelligence and Security, my primary responsibility is to the Australian people and the national interest, and I refunded that ten thousand without prompting, on my own bat, last year in January.
As you know, this Government has pivoted very strongly over the term to protect our sovereignty with the introduction of the espionage and foreign interference laws, and I think the Australian people tend to have confidence that we take threats to our national security across the spectrum – whether it be terrorism, espionage, foreign interference – very, very seriously.
And that’s why I’m proud to serve as a Member of the Morrison Government.
And have you, as the chair of the Security Committee, been kept-up-to-date on Mr Huang’s case?
The executive doesn’t comment on individual cases, and the committee is very busy with its own work. So.
And do you think that other MPs or party’s that have received donations from Mr Huang should repay them, as you did?
Every Member and Senator is responsible for their own actions, and I did what I did because I believe it was the right thing to do.
So do you think it was the right decision to strip him of his permanent residency?
I can’t comment on the individual case.
It must be a very serious step for the authorities to take – to block a gentleman like that from getting citizenship.
It’s not a great look, is it, for MPs from both sides of politics to have been taking large amounts of money from this bloke for a long time?
The Prime Minister and the Minister for Home Affairs take their responsibilities very seriously, and like I said, they’re protecting Australian sovereignty every single day.
Now, we’ve got about 200-plus people who are over the road here who are going to celebrate with this funding announcement. So if you’d like to join us.
One last question, sorry. Malcolm Turnbull’s been out camp- well, endorsed Julia Banks, who’s campaigning in your seat – are you disappointed to see him endorsing…?
I’ll leave others to reflect or comment upon their own words. And for me, my job is to get on, just as Andrew does, and to represent the people of Flinders.
For me, it’s about better cancer services for the Bay’s hospital and the Mornington Peninsula, whether you’re in Mornington or Rosebud; it’s about completing the electrification – a $220 million commitment of the Frankston to Baxter section of the railway – something which state Labor is not supporting, amazingly; it’s about ensuring that things such as- we protect the Green Wedge, we protect Point Nepean, we protect the coastline; and we delivered through fighting with the community.
You know, what Andrew’s done here reminds me of what we did with Gunnamatta Beach, where we had a state Labor government that was resistant to protecting Gunnamatta beach.
We worked for many years as a partnership with the community and we delivered it. And that’s what I’m focused on.
But it’s not a great look for the former Prime Minister to be endorsing an independent over you, is it?
I’ll leave this for others to comment on their own (inaudible).
Mr Hastie, just quickly – do you have any concerns about the Huawei contract with the Public Transport Authority.
I was just going to say: the Minister’s been an excellent Health Minister and if I was in Flinders I’d be backing him the whole way.
Last question, guys.
Do you have any concerns about the Huawei contract with the Public Transport Authority here in Western Australia, given you’re also the Chair of the Security Committee (inaudible)?
I’ve written to the Minister for Home Affairs seeking advice on that. I have deep concerns with that contract, particularly as you see what’s evolving in the United States and elsewhere, and that’s another matter (inaudible).
(inaudible) Do you think the contract should be torn up?
I wouldn’t enter into the contract myself.