Wednesday, 16 April 2008

A mythical new hospital

The Cairns Post is certainly sucking up and congratulating itself big time with the Ed himself to the fore.

Also interesting, is the 'new carpark' in the midst of the recently development Esplanade North Parklands, seems to not get much of a mention?

“The Queensland Government has announced that Cairns Airport will be privatised in a potential billion-dollar deal that will eventually give Cairns a new hospital.”

That’s how the Cairns Post followed up online in reporting the Health Minister’s flying visit to Cairns to announce that the campaign for a new hospital had been successful. Well, 'eventually' anyway.

So, here's what the Minister actually said....


  1. $405 million redevelopment of the current site with a new block and refurbishments. All supported by a clinical services plan “which has been released for public consultation just this week.
  2. That the new health infrastructure will include a new carpark “over the road” on The Esplanade.......... hhhmm, seem to recall that the current carpark there, was intended to be only temporary during construction of the last redevelopment of the hospital site.
  3. That the planned redevelopment on the current site will serve Cairns for “many years into the future.”
  4. Land down on the southside suitable for a new hospital “should that be determined to be the appropriate way to go in years to come”

Spin! Spin! Spin!

What 'new hospital', as advocated by The Post? At least now the State and The Cairns Post seem to be spinning nicely in sync again, with much mutual backslapping!

There are reassurances from Member for Cairns Desley Boyle of full reinvestment of the proceeds from Airport privatisations into the region.

There are also reports that should proceeds of the combined airports sales exceed $900 million required for Cairns, Mt Isa upgrades, and all new $400 million hospital in Mackay, it would be directed into a state infrastructure fund for other unspecified projects.

Someone in the Cairns media is in need of a mental health check up, me thinks.

21 comments:

Arthur Festerbestertester said...

What a laugh the whole campaign has been. The first point to be made by those of us with memories long enough is that the reason the hospital is still on the current site is because of an equally hysterical, inaccurate, pig-ignorant, commercially driven, self-promoting campaign by the Cairns Post when the State wanted to move it last time. The second point is that this whole campaign has been driven by Cairns Post buddies like its real-estate customers (represented by the Chamber of Commerce) who want to get their greedy paws on the land, or people pushing secondary barrows such as that fine man Prof Wronski, or downright ignoramuses and lunatics. The third point is that thinking of a big, bright, brand-new hospital as the solution to all our health woes is Industrial Revolution thinking. It is not in keeping with new models of distributed health care, and it is certainly not in keeping with today's emphasis on KEEPING PEOPLE OUT OF HOSPITAL. The fourth point is that anyone who has read anything of our district, regional and state health plans will know that there is no doubt that the existing hospital can be made fully functional and fully efficient by doing exactly what the Government is proposing. THERE IS NO NEED YET FOR A NEW HOSPITAL. The fifth point is made by the idiotic Cairns Post itself. Its petition was signed by 7500 people, or approximately 5% of the greater Cairns population, which equates to probably 3000 adults. So no, YOU did not do it! The sixth point is that what was announced yesterday was obviously what was going to be announced irrespective of Alexander the Not Very Great and his army of buffoons, and probably later than necessary because of the need to deal with these clowns.

Anonymous said...

RE cairns post
I totally agree with everybodys comments, for a while I thought i was the only one to see thru them.
First you have alexandra with his ALFALFA hairdo,gavin king with his BRYLCREAM ELVIS hairdo, and over many years we have had many comments on john mckenzie"s hairdo.
Thru the murky mist you can see they are all trying to lift their profile because their mates are no longer in power. luckily.
The past years of their disrespect for this community is history that proves you cannot trust any of them, desperation is showing and hopefully we will not have to endure them for much longer.
As for byrne's so called attempt at humour how WHACKO,is this something alexander threw in for nothing?
I could see it as a free print of a resume, after all it will be on their website.
I also hope our new council will not have anything to do with any of them.

pave paradise and put up a parking lot said...

Hang on a minute? Have we heard correctly here that we will see action quickly on demolition of the existing carpark (Lake St?)and construction of a new carpark over the road on The Esplanade?

Does that mean a multi-storey carpark in the North Esplanade Parklands because that seems to be the unexplained implication of what was said? Please explain?

The Esplanade reserve is trust land under the Lands Act with the Council as trustee. So why was Val quoted so sympathetically for the proposal in todays Post?

Anonymous said...

It is good to see people are now
coming to terms with the spin of our Cairns Post editor Alexander.
This fellow should be given the bullet as soon as possible.He seems to now want to grab the headlines,in order to boost his own self esteem.

Anonymous said...

It's another great ballsup, if you ask me. One cyclone or one tsunami and its all cactus.

Anonymous said...

It would seem that this Council can do what they like with land belonging to others. Like they did out at Clifton Beach. A state owned road, the northern end of Upolu Esplanade was given to the Argentea developers so that they could have private access and pathways leading to the beach, all courtesy of actions by our then Cllr Bad Boy Bonneau. This was a deal was done behind closed doors and the State govt. ended up being complicit in the action by allowing them to deviate from the normal road closure procedures which require public notification and use some other obscure Act which is rarely if ever used to close a road.

Tyson said...

Val would be quoted as saying whatever is written on the hymns sheet her state counterparts are reading from.

As for the money staying in Cairns, well, Desley, that's strange, as Anna Bligh has already folded the corners on some of the notes to send them to Mackay and Mt Isa!

As for the privatisation of the airport - will Anna Bligh guarantee that the Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting employees at Cairns and Mackay will keep their jobs? Considering there's 50+ fireys in Cairns alone..

Point of the story is, folks, that our dearest and most loved Premier Bligh is running low on cash, and she's more than happy to sell off any State assets outside of SEQ to keep funding her Govt's Brisbane-centric projects.. that's where all her cronies' seats are..

Anonymous said...

This outcome is a dud! The more you read in to it, the more obvious it becomes.
The Cairns Post has done the people of Cairns a disservice with their meddling; the State Government with their populist knee-jerk reaction.
The cost of all this?
1/ Loss of a significant publicly owned asset: Cairns Airport. Gone forever
2/ Loss of huge swath of Esplanade parkland to a multi-storey car park. Gone forever.
3/ NO NEW HOSPITAL
Well done The Cairns Post. YOU DID IT!

ian said...

anon#5, you r spot on! Great post!

captain cairns said...

They can build a new hospital tomorrow with 10000 beds, but there would still be no staff. The problem is not just the size, it is the staffing levels.

there is a major problem which is only going to get worse, which is, school leavers don't want to be doctors anymore.

Why would they? You get more money by doind a trade apprenticeship, where you can earn 6 figure salaries in your early 20's, and without putting up with the crap that doctors have to put up with in hospitals. Those with the brains who do go into medicine, prefer to be sports specialists, GP's, anesthetists etc. They definately don't want the pressures of hospitals, which pay less.

Build all the new hospitals you want, but I'm afraid the best you'll get is to staff them with foreign doctors. Aussies just don't want to do it.

Anonymous said...

Great to see in the business section of yesterday's Post a story on whether there was demand for 2 new proposed "5 star" office towers in Cairns. Turns out one of them is being built by the State to house their growing army of public servants. So we can afford new 5 star offices and public servants without selling airports but not hospitals?

the kitchen slut said...

I agree with the reported comments of Cairns Chamber boss Blockley that while he's not opposed to the Airport sale it needs to be justified on it's own merits and not linked to the provison of essential health services in Cairns.

Interesting, that given the current dysfunctional condition of global asset backed credit markets it would not appear to be the most propitious time to be flogging off infrastructure assets?

Dish Piggy said...

THE SOLUTION! BUILD A NEW HOSPITAL ON NATIONAL PARK LAND. Not even the most rabid greenies would protest having several hectares of Goldsborough National Park grabbed for a new hospital.
The land won't cost the taxpayer a red cent. Funds to build the hospital can be from the sale of the airport or borrowed, then when the move is completed the old hospital site can be sold to private developers, the monies of which help pay off the loan. If any more money needed, then the State Government can work with the Cairns Base Hospital Foundation to run a State Lottery similar to the old Golden Casket principles. I imagine everyone in Cairns and surrounds would buy a ticket to support their brand new hospital set in natural beauty.

thersites said...

It now seems, if todays further positive spin in The Post is correct, that ambiguous and confusing comments from the Minister about the carpark "over the road", made while standing out the front of the hospital on The Esplanade, did not refer to The Esplanade carpark area.

It seems the plan may be to buy up properties on the other side of Lake St and build the new carpark there but that negotiations are commercial in confidence(p3 Post)

If so its not just here that has been confused by the vague ministerial comments as i've heard uncertain queries about this from both a hospital employee and a Qld Health public servant. Vague and poor communication from a 'professional communicator'?

Given the current problems with parking around the hospital (as well as the expansion and construction activity) the new carpark will need to be substantially bigger than the old one to relieve parking congestion in the area.

Gladys Stringbag said...

The Cairns Post is in bed with the Labor government now? After you spent months telling us it was in bed with Kevin Byrne and the reactionary Right, Liberals, Nationals etc? So it is a left-wing rag now? Ask Val about that one.

Then your own YouTube link goes to the Robertson video recorded and posted by The Cairns Post on its site first. Nice bit of plagiarism by Cairnsblog.

And he did not say the new carpark would be over the road on the Esplanade, it is over the road on Lake Street, across from where it is now. Assumption makes an Ass out of U yet once again.

It seems it took the achievement of something positive for this town to jerk CairnsBlog out of its slumber since the local election and get back on its soapbox of ignorance and innuendo. No thanks to Cairnsblog's bedmates at Cairns Fist for this latest achievement. In fact they are probably behind this latest diatribe, pulling the blogstrings as usual.

An early warning sign of the anti-development, anti-progress anti-everything-that-does-not-involve -tree-hugging that this town can look forward to for the next four years.

Jude Johnston said...

I couldn't hear that the new carpark was going on the Esplanade, he said "across the road". What about the other side of Lake Street???? Doesn't the Health Dept own land on Lake St opposite the Hospital.

Jude Johnston said...

If the Cairns Airport is privatised, the bottom line is the return for the Shareholders.
Call me cynical but I can see the usual spin of "introducing efficiencies" reducing the overheads and increasing revenue.

Thersites said...

Jude, the report in todays Cairns Post suggests that the Health Dept is in 'commercial in confidence'negotiations to acquire land "across the road" in Lake St but this was entirely unclear in the amateur Ministerial annouincement as i have stated above?

He was after all standing smack on the Esplanade and Desley Boyle has been reported as wanting to extend the Hospital in that direction in future? This confusion has even been confirmed from discussion with two (2) not junior people (respected personal friends) at Cairns Base and Qld Health who have never even looked at Cairnsblog and confirm total confusion as to whats going on!

Look at the facts. We are now, apparently, allocating scarce resources from the Airport sale to acquiring prime inner city residential and tourism real estate for car parking facilities, construction of new car parks, and land down south which may not be needed, if at all, for 15 or 20 years?

I think the point to that confusion and amateurish effort in the 'flying vist' to announce it from the Health Minister is that it all seems to be a policy on the run approach rather than anything thought out .... and leaves us with a less than best outcome!

So how much is going on the necessary medical facilities and when? The time frame anounced is to look after the carparking (what a priority) and then do the medical building and redevelopment so it's years away yet.

How many years before any additional facilities at all are delivered in Cairns under this plan?

Anonymous said...

gladys stringbag seems cracked in the head if she thinks the Cairns First Team had anything to do with this hospital decision. Christ only knows who dreamed this disaster up, but it sure as hell wasn't the two Cairns First councillors and Mayor.

The Dish Pig said...

Yup, once the Airport is privatised we will have another CEO. A bullying, kiss up-kick down psychopathic narcissist who will turn everyones jobs into hell on earth. Yup, his one and only bottom line will be profit for the shareholders. Airport workers, you are warned now, so start looking around for another job if you can.

Bill Harzia said...

Pig, most airport workers already work for the private sector: Qantas, Jetstar, Barrier Reef Helicopters, Jet Services, ISS security, catering firms, etc etc.
Actual Port Authority workers are a minority.