Health and education outcomes were better than could be expected given a $5.6 billion deficit inherited from Labor, according to Maitland MP Robyn Parker.
Ms Parker (pictured right) hit back at opposition health spokesperson Andrew McDonald, who was in Maitland last Thursday, for his
criticism of triage times.
“We’re recruiting extra nurses and midwives to ensure people are treated in a timely manner,” she said.
“We’ve also ended Labor’s
practice of counting cribs and aged care beds, while making 136 beds available for admission from the emergency department.”
Dr McDonald said that only 50 per cent of triage 2 (chest pain and burns) patients were seen to within nine
minutes was damning.
“It’s evidence this hospital is struggling due to the rapid population growth,” he said.
“There is no reason why the government can’t commit funds to build a second hospital in this budget and if not they need to say why.”
Ms Parker said she could not say what would be in the budget five weeks from now but denounced the call as premature.
“Our election commitment still stands, that a second regional hospital will be built, but not before the
proper planning,” she said.
Ms Parker also hit back at Opposition Leader John Robertson, who criticised the government’s reliance on “mouldy, structurally unsound” demountables.
“Not only did we inherit a budgetary blackhole, they [Labor] left us with a maintenance backlog,” she said.
Ms Parker said the O’Farrell government had delivered an additional $60 million for school maintenance and infrastructure in its first term.
The first budget allocated $289m for school maintenance (11 per cent above the 2010/11 budget), and $640m for capital projects in schools – including $167m for school minor works.
Ms Parker pointed to the $200,000 spent on kitchen facilities at Rutherford Technology High School, $200,000 on fixing termite damage at Telarah Public School, $50,000 for “long overdue” airconditioning at Maitland Public School and $21,000 for additional storage at Grossmann High School.