25 August 2011 Transcript of interview with the Hon Peter Dutton MP, Federal Member for Dickson and Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing on 4BC with Gary Hardgrave
GARY HARDGRAVE: Redcliffe GP Super Clinic - much promised, but where is it?
There’s some suggestions that after all of the promises that have been made - this is on the top of the problems we’ve been highlighting here of the ramping at Redcliffe Hospital - the Federal Government’s solution to the health services on the peninsula just isn’t happening.
Now Peter Dutton is the Shadow Minister for Health, the Member for Dickson here in Queensland, I guess you’d know that Redcliffe peninsula very well Mr Dutton, what’s your view on it?
PETER DUTTON: I do Gary. Well I think patients and small businesses and the whole local community now is just left in limbo.
They’ve got a half finished building and the word fiasco, as you rightly use in relation to other matters, I think pretty much sums up what the Federal Government’s doing in health now and this is just the latest example.
GARY HARDGRAVE: But people rely on the Redcliffe Hospital and we’re getting a lot of complaints here about the ramping issue, about five and six hour waits to get in through emergency services, this is what the super clinic concept was all about - taking pressure off that, wasn’t it?
PETER DUTTON: Well the Government promised 64 super clinics Gary and Ms Gillard’s only been able to have 13 of them fully operational.
As you look across the country it’s a pretty similar situation to what we’re seeing in Redcliffe and they were promised to be set up so they could divert patients away from Emergency Departments and people would say that’s fair enough, but it’s not what’s happened and it’s just putting more pressure on our doctors and nurses.
It seems to me that Julia Gillard has followed Anna Bligh’s path in health and that is to put all the money into extra bureaucrats and not into doctors and nurses.
And that’s why we’re not getting the proper outcomes that patients and I think Queenslanders deserve.
GARY HARDGRAVE: I know your colleague Senator Sue Boyce, the Senator for Queensland, has had a bit to say about that and I am indebted to her drawing some further attention to this, but apparently this thing was due to be opened - the Redcliffe Super Clinic - was due to be open by the middle of 2011, I suppose they’ve still got a couple of weeks.
PETER DUTTON: Well it would be a pretty impressive arrangement Gary, if they could get it completed, but it seems now that there’s a whole question mark over the finances.
I can’t understand how a federal health minister could enter into a financial contract with no certainty about whether builders were going to be paid. The builders have walked off site, as I understand it at the moment, there’s no money to pay them.
Hopefully this thing can get finished quickly, and you’re right, Sue Boyce has done a great job in the Senate in Estimates pursuing this matter and we keep getting these false promises – that yes its on time, yes patients are going to be able to get in to see it and use it quickly, but all of that just defies reality.
I think, as I say, patients and the local Redcliffe community has been left in limbo and it just puts more pressure on the ambos, on the doctors, on the nurses and on people who are desperate to get in to Emergency Departments with a sick child or to get in to see a doctor and in the end I just want to make sure that patients can get the care that they deserve.
If these fiascos continue on, then patients are the ones that are going to suffer.
GARY HARDGRAVE: But Redcliffe Hospital services a heck of a lot northside Brisbane. I mean your electorate of Dickson, that would have to be the nearest, biggest hospital wouldn’t it?
PETER DUTTON: And Prince Charles, and obviously there’s Caboolture Hospital as well.
But the growth when you look Gary through Deception Bay, through North Lakes, even Redcliffe itself which has undergone a renewal of course in recent years; there’s big pressure and families want to get into an Emergency Department, they want to get in with a sick child quickly, they don’t want to turn up and see some half constructed building because Julia Gillard just can get her act together.
And I think that people really would demand that this mess is sorted out. If there is a problem with loans apparently, with the state government, it needs to be sorted out today.
GARY HARDGRAVE: I don’t think it will be because it’s close of business in Canberra, they’re all tucked up and going home, I guess speaking of Canberra you can’t wait to get out of the place after this fortnight I reckon.
PETER DUTTON: There’s a mad rush on a Thursday night Gary to the airport to get out. Everyone wants to get home to a warmer environment.
But it’s been a pretty surreal week in Federal politics and I think this Craig Thomson affair’s got a wrong way to run.
I think people just have question marks about the Prime Minister’s capacity to lead and to govern; and real question marks about, you know, her own judgement on people and issues.
At some stage, hopefully in the near future, people will make a judgement at the ballot box as to whether this has been an appropriate period of governance for our country.
GARY HARDGRAVE: Well you need to know Graham Richardson told Greg Cary this morning that he reckons that it’s only going to last until the middle of next year.
The government won’t go any further than that, so even Richo is saying it’s not long.
PETER DUTTON: Well Gary, all of us who are politically interested or political tragics, you know, I guess see the day to day machinations of it. But where it really hurts is the lack of confidence in small business.
People are struggling to pay power bills or their rego, people are struggling to pay to send their kids to school and yet we’re having this great big new tax. It’s an economy wide tax.
Nowhere else in the world has it and the Government just has botched it as well, so why would we be putting extra pressure on to families at a time when they just don’t have confidence in the Government and their ability to govern.
And if small business doesn’t have confidence, and business doesn’t have confidence, they don’t employ the extra apprentice, they don’t buy the new ute, they’re worried about expansion at their office, they just don’t go ahead with it, they keep their hands in their pockets, people are under employed, they don’t get their overtime and this all starts at a Federal Government level.
And that’s why we need to return certainty and stability to Government because we just want to get the economy back on track.
GARY HARDGRAVE: All right thanks for bringing it back to every day people. Peter Dutton good to talk to you.