Tuesday 11 April 2017

Dodgy hospital survey and parking sting – Bitter pills for Noosa

State Member for Noosa Glen Elmes MP said the Labor Government has deceived local residents with claims they have listened to the community about public transport access to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH).

“Translink spent $116,000 dollars of tax payer money (see attached) on a dodgy survey that did not collect or consider information from anyone north of the Maroochy River.

“Without any knowledge of the needs of my community, the Deputy Premier and Minister for Transport Jackie Trad MP has the audacity to claim a ‘lack of demand’ as the reason for why communities north of the Maroochy River did not get one of the 401 additional services added to the network following the review. The Noosa region has been penalised and it is just not good enough.

“Try telling the many people in this community who depend upon public transport to access health care, that there is not enough demand to justify a direct bus service to the new hospital. Be they elderly, vision impaired or on low incomes, our vulnerable citizens must be looked after, and it is the government’s job to do just that. Translink is simply treating this community as second class to our southern cousins.

“The Minister is hiding behind a meaningless report as proof that consultation took place in Noosa, when not one information session was held here. In fact, the map of the study area shown in Translink’s own report ends at Maroochydore (see attached). The Minister is not only deceiving me and my community but is making a mockery of genuine consultation processes.

“There are plenty of examples where new services have been trialled in order to properly gauge real demand, and many of these trials have proven Brisbane bureaucrats wrong. In the absence of a crystal ball, and or sound research instead of a dodgy survey, how does the Minister predict the success or otherwise of a non-existent direct service to a brand new hospital.

“If you are able to drive a car and can avoid spending 3.5 hours on four buses to get to and from, you will be stung $2.40 to park at the new hospital for 30 minutes or $14.50 a day. The Sunshine Coast Council has also got on board and ensured the parking sting is unavoidable with metered parking across the precinct.

“Whether you catch a bus or get there under your own steam, one way or another, getting to and from the hospital will be a nightmare, which is something I warned both the Minister for Transport and the Minister for Health would be inevitable if public transport services from Noosa were not improved.

• Answer to Question On Notice (No. 190, Tuesday 28 February 2017) to the Deputy Premier and Minister for Transport and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Hon J Trad, regarding the cost of community consultation and communication costs associated with the Sunshine Coast University Hospital Service Change project.
• Sunshine Coast University Hospital Service Change Community Consultation Report October 2016, page 3 map