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The NSW Budget that delivered Eurobodalla nothing other than repeat announcements

On the 21st of January 2022 the NSW Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard made the grand announcement that the "community of Batemans Bay will benefit from a new $20 million HealthOne facility as part of the NSW Government’s record investment of $500 million to ensure that more health services and infrastructure are delivered to rural and regional NSW. Everyone applauded. The Minister then said "Batemans Bay HealthOne has been undergoing planning for the past six months, and will be a one-stop, unique model of integrated care for the community". “The NSW Liberals and Nationals Government has consistently worked to deliver health upgrades to rural communities, so that people can access high quality health services in contemporary, purpose built facilities close to home,” Mr Hazzard said. Everyone applauded again. "The new $20 million HealthOne at Batemans Bay complements the NSW Government’s $260 million investment in a new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital which will be built at Moruya". On the same day as the announcement of $20 million for HealthOne (January 21st 2022) NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard stood alongside the Liberal candidate for the state seat of Bega, Fiona Kotvojs.

In full electioneering mode the following was posted on the same day on the Liberal Party website:

source Anyone reading the above or attending the media call would have heard the Minister for Health announcing $20 million for the project. To those assembled it was clearly translated as Money on the table. Done deal. Get the job done.

It now appears that the HealthOne announcement by Hazzard was unfunded. Instead of waiting until this week's budget to announce the $20 million funding officially by way of the 2022-2023 budget it now appears that the January 21st 2022 "announcement" was little more than an electioneering stunt choreographed to generate votes for the Liberal candidate and to drum up support for the Liberal party ahead of the March by-election.

And what of the other 2022-2023 budget details: In December 2021 the NSW Government announced an additional$60 million to develop the new Eurobodalla Health Service, bringing the total investment commitment to $260 million.

At the time the Deputy Premier, Paul Toole, said "the funding is on top of the $900 million rural infrastructure spend in 2021-22". But now, confusingly, we see the latest budget list $60 million as NEW FUNDING and $200 million as 'Continued delivery'. One can only assume that the declared New Funding of $60 million for the Eurobodalla Hospital is nothing other than an embarrassing reannouncement of a reannouncement of a reannouncement. With an election coming up in just nine months time we might need to be cognisant of what has been already been announced, what is being regurgitated, what is actually committed and what, it seems, is real.

In essence the 2022-2023 Budget has delivered nothing new in the way of Health dollars to the Eurobodalla that hadn't all ready been announced.