'Make the bloody decision and get on with it'
SUNSHINE Coast mayor Mark Jamieson has lashed out at the political head-butting over a fully-functional medical school at the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital, telling all parties to hurry up and deliver what was promised.
Cr Jamieson said the issue had been going on long-term and should have been resolved long before now, with only five months remaining until the $1.8 billion facility opens.
The state and federal governments are at loggerheads, with the State Government offering to pay for half of the 15 medical school placements needed but the Federal Government is demanding a commitment from the state guaranteeing specialist training places before it considers the Griffith University medical school proposal further.
Just last May ex-PM Tony Abbott committed $20 million in Federal funding to WA's Curtin University for a new medical school.
Cr Jamieson this morning demanded a resolution, declaring the region would not accept anything less than the fully-functional medical school it had been promised.
"I would call on all the parties with an opportunity to contribute to the decision to make the bloody decision and get on with it,” Cr Jamieson said.
"This has dragged on for too long. The people of the Sunshine Coast expect a university teaching school.
"That's what people were promised, that's what we expect and nothing short of that will be acceptable.”
Cr Jamieson said the medical school funding issues had not happened on the Gold Coast and noted the commitment made in WA only 18 months ago.
He was adamant the new hospital should not be politicised, arguing the facility was above politics and would remain, regardless of which parties were in power at a state or federal level.
"I see this hospital as being above politics,” he said.
"The Federal Government needs to recognise we're entitled to those places (15 medical school placements).”
He said the Sunshine Coast had demonstrated through its rapid growth that it was worthy of more political attention from all sides.
"This area has got the capacity to play a critical role in digging Australia out of a big hole,” Cr Jamieson said.
Cr Jamieson feared failure to deliver a full medical school would impact on the quality of patient care and the quality of staff the new hospital would attract, demanding action be taken to deliver the full medical school by next year.
"For once we were going to be top of the heap and we still want to be top of the heap,” he said.