NSW LABOR SLAMS NATIONALS FOR SUPPORTING SYDNEY STADIUMS OVER NORTH COAST SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS

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NSW Labor has slammed the National Party for supporting an “obscene” misdirection of priorities, saying it is spending $2.5 billion on rebuilding Sydney stadiums when North Coast hospitals and schools desperately need the financial support.

NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley and Shadow Minister for the North Coast Walt Secord made the comments this week.

Mr Foley and Mr Secord said the Nationals were completely out of step with the needs of the community, preferring to spending billions in Sydney while rural and regional communities receive second class health and education services.

Mr Foley said the North Coast schools and hospitals are going begging after the Liberal- National State Government committed an obscene $2.5 billion on knocking down and rebuilding Sydney stadiums.

The out of touch Berejiklian-Barilaro Government’s stadium strategy will rob the region of money that should have been spent on North Coast schools and hospitals.

The decision will directly affect North Coast school children who face years of being taught in demountables or in classrooms with leaky roofs and broken toilets.

It will also do nothing to help the almost 5,000 patients on the North Coast who have been waiting months for elective surgery.

Mr Secord added that the old National Party of Wal Murray and Doug Anthony would have never supported such a slap in the face to rural and regional families.

HOSPITAL WAIT TIMES ACROSS THE NORTHERN NSW LOCAL HEALTH DISTRICT

  • The median waiting time for non-urgent elective surgery is 285 days – with some patients waiting nearly a year (356 days).;
  • There are 4,996 patients waiting for elective surgery (as at 30 June 2017);
  • At Lismore Base Hospital, the median waiting time for non-urgent elective surgery is 328 days. The waiting time for a total knee replacement is 329 days;
  • At Lismore Base Hospital, there are 1,783 patients waiting for elective surgery (as at 30 June 2017).

OVERCROWDED SCHOOLS

  • Across the region the maintenance backlog for schools is $2.5 million;
  • There are 40 schools in the region that are at 100 per cent capacity;
  • There are 137 demountables in the region’s schools. 

AND THIS IS WHAT $2.5 BILLION GETS YOU 

  • Four regional hospitals; or
  • 139 primary schools; or
  • 62.5 high schools.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

I will not allow this obscene amount of money to be spent on a couple of Sydney stadiums.

“This is money that should go to schools and hospitals; they come first and will always do so under a Labor government.

“When thousands of children in the region are being taught in demountables and thousands of people are waiting months for elective surgery it is a crime that this out of touch Government has committed such a huge amount of money on a couple of Sydney stadiums.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for the North Coast – Walt Secord

“This is simply ridiculous. We have thousands of elderly patients waiting in pain for knee and hip replacements while the State Government spends more than $2.5 billion on stadiums.”

“Billions of taxpayers’ dollars are being poured into Sydney stadiums – the playthings of the Liberal Party; this is just wrong.”