Queensland’s former Labor government blew $2.2 billion by failing to properly plan three hospitals, a report says.
More than $2.2 billion was wasted in the building of three Queensland hospitals due to poor planning, the Auditor-General says.
An Auditor-General’s report says the Gold Coast University Hospital, South Brisbane’s Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital and the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital have cost more than twice as much and will be delivered far later than needed.
The Beattie Labor government pledged to build the three facilities for $2.87 billion in 2006, but the report, released on Tuesday, says the hospitals have cost more than $5 billion thus far.
“When commitment was made to build three hospitals, no robust investment planning and analysis had been undertaken to determine their likely outturn cost, with the result that the August 2006 estimates significantly understated the cost of the projects,” the report said.
The Auditor-General said the projects were announced before Queensland Health (QH) had the chance to investigate the needs of health services on the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, or for children, in regards to Lady Cilento Hospital.
“As a result, QH focused on the announced infrastructure solutions without adequate consideration of alternative options, their risks, costs and benefits,” the report said.
Premier Campbell Newman said when combined with $1.2 billion blown on the new health payroll bungle, the former Labor government had completely wasted $3.4 billion.
“That could’ve cleared backlogs. That could’ve built new hospitals. That’s what my government has been working to clean up over the last two-and-a-half years,” he told reporters.
The Auditor-General recommended all future hospital projects be planned after their service area needs were identified; the costs, risks and benefits were analysed; and whole-of-life financial effects of projects were assessed.