Stadium funds are a vital sign of bad priority, says Labor
NEW South Wales Opposition Leader Luke Foley has criticised the state government over funnelling money into new stadiums, rather than vital health services.
During a visit to the Tweed on Monday, Mr Foley said Premier Gladys Berejiklian's plans to spend $2.5 billion demolishing and rebuilding the Olympic Stadium and Sydney Football Stadium was "evidence of wrong priorities".
"The fact that there's an upgrade that will occur to the Tweed Hospital, that's good, but frankly it should happen far sooner," he said.
"Why is it that the wrecking ball can go in on a stadium in Sydney next year yet the people in the Tweed have to wait for an upgraded hospital until around 2023?
"I just think this is a great example of a government with the wrong priorities."
He urged Ms Berejiklian to meet with the Tweed Hospital's doctors and clinicians to "understand the pressures they're under every day".
Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord said new data from the Bureau of Health Information reiterated sentiment the North Coast's hospitals were under "enormous pressure".
At the Tweed Hospital, 22.1 per cent of patients were met with Emergency Department delays of more than four hours and the longest wait times for non-urgent elective surgery on the North Coast were at Murwillumbah and Lismore.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest said the location of the new $530 million hospital planned for the Tweed - initially expected before Christmas - would now not be announced until the new year. He noted $48 million was still being spent on improving the existing Tweed Hospital in the interim.
"We will be announcing that in the second week of January," Mr Provest said.
"There's been an enormous amount of progress in that space and we need to get it right. We can't just run ahead."