Monday, 18 February 2019
Canning Electorate: Peel Health Campus, Member for Holt
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the many constituents who got behind our push for an upgrade to the Peel Health Campus, as the Peel Health Campus is more than 20 years old and was built when the population of Mandurah was about half of what it currently is now, so an upgrade is long overdue. Funding for a new emergency department would alleviate a lot of the current pressure on that part of the hospital.
So last year, in May, Zak Kirkup, the state member for Dorsville, held a rally opposite the hospital and had about 400 people turn up. That was the beginning of a year-long campaign which culminated two weeks ago when the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, came to Canning to announce $25 million for the upgrade of the Peel Health Campus. It will upgrade the emergency department and the radiological department and also provide a residential facility on the grounds of the Peel Health Campus to treat people with eating disorders. This is very welcome news.
I just want to thank the many hundreds of people who got behind us, who put up signs in their front yards, who signed our petition, who wrote letters to the editor of the local newspapers and who wrote to me via email or called me or just offered a word of encouragement during that year-long campaign. It was really gratifying to see 250 people turn up to the rally that we held on the day. It was hot; it was the middle of the day in the Western Australian summer; they didn't know there was going to be an announcement. But they turned up. And that just shows how much grassroots support we've had.
The WA AMA president had a crack at me straight afterwards, saying it was a drop in the ocean, which I thought was rather short-sighted. He's actually a surgeon at the Peel Health Campus. He lives in Claremont, which is in Curtin, which is about an hour away, so he's a drive-in drive-out surgeon. Nonetheless, he decided to have a go at me publicly. And not once, despite his intimate knowledge of the Peel Health Campus, did he actually say anything during the campaign. Yet, when state Labor, last year, committed only $5 million to the hospital and eight beds in two years in the emergency department, he remained silent and offered no criticism. When we got five times that amount, $25 million, for the hospital, he didn't say a word. In fact, he came out and criticised me. It just shows that he is, I think, a proxy for WA state Labor. He has been happy throwing spears at me on radio and in my local paper, but he has remained absolutely silent on state Labor's inadequate funding for the hospital.
Finally, I just want to publicly thank the member for Holt, the deputy chair of the PJCIS, for all his support over the last two years. I couldn't have a better man backing me in. He's a patriot. Thank you.