The second One New Eurobodalla Hospital petition has reached Macquarie Street.
It is now the responsibility of the NSW Government to act.
Congratulations to all the signatories and to Fitzroy & Mylène Boulting.
“The Pot calling the Kettle Black; How $200 million got discovered; The missing Local Member and other stories”
Though with hand on heart we can truly say that we have never once wasted any time looking at Local Member Andrew Constance’s Facebook musings, a very recent posting of his was sent to us by a “ONE” Advocates supporter which, out of respect for the trouble they had gone to, gave us little choice! It only further confirmed our original decision.
The Eurobodalla community’s healthcare advocate-in-chief, Dr Michael Holland, who really does embody those qualities of genuine, not manufactured, care for his community all of us would so dearly love to see in some of our local politicians – apparently does not intend to respond to the Local member’s most recent and decidedly fanciful running commentary: We respect his call but that does not preclude our doing so, even if not to his high level of expertise, in our capacity as Head Petitioners for our Community’s Hospital Petition just shy of 3,500 signatures. This result, which easily bests the 2018 Petition, shows a community whose concern and anger about broken promises have self-evidently only grown and strengthened in that time.
With his political credibility and standing shot to pieces by his bewildering about-turns and ill-considered outbursts, which cast aspersions by association in the direction of the many thousands of Eurobodalla constituents who through signing the Petition(s) have dared to disagree with his own self-serving and nakedly political narrative our Local Member is right to be worried, very worried. Some interesting stories are springing from a variety of surprising sources lately which double up the evident feelings of insecurity his increasingly febrile pronouncements so very clearly reflect as he manoeuvres to gain advantage, any advantage, in his quest for endorsement as Liberal Candidate for Gilmore.
By contemptuously diminishing and rejecting overwhelming community sentiment expressed in the Petition as nothing more than a politically motivated bit of street theatre, he is profoundly disrespecting and dismissing the personal stories courageously shared by the two ladies presenting the Petitions. Our New Petition also carries the same crystal-clear messaging as the 2018 Petition which he was so assiduously keen to be seen enthusiastically embracing by the media in his 2019 election campaign. So, what has changed? His current commentary seems to be a mash-up attempt at basically trying to self-justify why he has a ‘right’ to speciously ignore the Community’s Petition and the unambiguously clear directive it sends to him and his new-found friends in the Health bureaucracy he has clearly decided to throw in his lot with. The prominent use of his image by SNSWLHD across its Health website Project Information page, which in veiled jargon spells out that on opening we are in effect going to get nothing more than another Level 3, reduced capacity Hospital with no proper Intensive Care Unit capability, is a personal endorsement which is more about projecting a positive image of an aspiring Federal candidate outside the Eurobodalla than it is about non fulfillment of commitments to a deeply disappointed Eurobodalla community,
To the soon-to-be (so he declares) departed Local Member, loudly asserting that the Hospital’s plans, now cross-branded with his personal endorsement by pure coincidence just in time for elections, will deliver Level 4 Services and an ICU capability, our Community quietly but with one united voice utters the single word question: “WHEN?”. Strange then that neither he nor his newly found friends in the Health bureaucracy can bring themselves to even face let alone answer that straightforward question. Is it that the little number 2031 is involved? Elections of all sorts have been lost on far less than that.
And his big claim to getting the $200M which is the approximate build cost of the Bega Regional Hospital largely funded by Federal money circa 7 years ago? A close inspection of media reports reveal that the Local Member’s original commitment was actually $150M. It required for one of the Head Petitioners to confront the Local Member with the fact of a minimum shortfall of $50 Million, and even then based on outdated costings. He did not take at all kindly to the simple truth that such a shortfall in commitment constituted a costing which could not possibly reflect a realistic hope of constructing a proper Hospital built at level 4: Therefore why make such a clearly underfunded commitment? He had no reply to this fact. But, by way of acknowledging the incontestable truth of the proposition put to him, about six months later to much local media fanfare the Local Member announced that he had miraculously “found” another $50M! Funny, how that extra pledge rounded the sum up to the neat $200M which six months before he had so abrasively and vehemently dismissed! We simply took it as his own singular way of saying sorry.
Now that his patron and Lady Protector is gone and he has renounced his commitment to State politics, we suspect that the doors of influence in Macquarie Street, in particular those of the new NSW Liberal Cabinet, are proving far more difficult to open than he might care to publicly admit to his remaining supporters. From his ex-colleagues’ point of view, why would or should they? What would the compelling reasons be to extend any favours to him? Those in the Eurobodalla pinning hopes on resolution of their issues on a residual vestige of perceived influence and bargaining power in Macquarie Street are in all likelihood building castles of hope on shifting sand.
Is the above by any chance the real reason why over the many months of the New Petition’s progress, as most would expect of a half ways conscientious Local Member, not once did either he or his back-office make any effort to contact or express the slightest interest in the New Petition to any “ONE” Advocate member even including Dr Michael Holland? A fact which many have found quite shocking.
Through nothing more than our Local Member’s own studied disinterest, our Community has been forced effectively to look to others willing to support the Petition. Indeed, his unilateral resignation from State Politics would have marooned our Community’s Petition had we foolishly vested all our trust in the Local Member’s continuing carriage of his State duties. But we must be grateful to him in doing so since, in ‘own goal’ fashion, he acted as the catalyst for bringing our Petition and Hon Ryan Park MP, Shadow Minister for Health and Shadow Minister for Mental Health, together. In Ryan our Community has found a champion willing to step into the breach at the eleventh hour and to be vocal and proactive on the Petition’s behalf. Most important of all, our Community has found someone who actually cares: What more could anyone with no affiliations with any party, ask for or want of their political representative?
We have heard that the departing Local Member, who according to his own public posturing will by then be just a private citizen like the rest of us, has contacted Dr Michael Holland to indicate that he plans to attend the “OPEN THE DOOR AT LEVEL 4” Community Rally in Moruya on 27 November. He has been advised he is perfectly entitled to do so if he wishes, and no one will stop him. But we say this to him, as read this we know he will. This event will be solely about our Community and dedicated to its healthcare issues and not about him. By then he will doubtless have well-rehearsed his excuses: He will need every single one of them.
Fitzroy and Mylène Boulting
Head Petitioners & Co-founders
“ONE” New L4 Eurobodalla Hospital Group