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Tuesday, 12 September 2017
Page: 10143

Ms LANDRY (CapricorniaDeputy Nationals Whip) (16:41): It is a great relief for the people of my electorate in Capricornia that the Rockhampton Hospital car park is underway. I promised at the 2016 election that we would put $7 million on the table to get it started, and, just as we promised, this has now been delivered. I am so pleased that the deed of agreement has been signed off for delivery and construction can now begin. This news will be a huge relief for patients, hospital staff and residents around The Range and Wandal Heights, who have endured a parking nightmare for years now. Anybody living in Central Queensland who has had to visit the hospital knows the frustration of having to allow 30 minutes to find a park.

Hospital car parks are usually the responsibility of the state government, but lack of action and ongoing frustration spurred me to take matters into federal Liberal-National hands. We shamed the state government into action because we know what a difference vital infrastructure makes to lives and business operations. State Labor, disgracefully, had been sitting on its hands about a hospital car park for many years. Only a week before my federal pledge, Queensland's state Labor health minister, Cameron Dick, was at the Rockhampton Hospital stating he would not fund a car park. It took my lobbying in Canberra, a $7 million Commonwealth pledge and a push by the editor of TheMorning Bulletin newspaper to shake state Labor into any sort of action. The project will construct a 524-space multistorey car park facility, an additional 44-space at-grade car park, ancillary works including roadworks, a temporary car-parking solution during construction, barriers and ticketing. From here on, construction and management is in the hands of the state government, and I certainly hope they deliver this on time. According to the contract, it is scheduled for completion in January 2019.

I am both relieved and proud to have delivered this for every person who has had the displeasure of trying to find a park at the hospital and for the residents who for years have had their streets looking like game night at the Gabba on a daily basis. My fight to convince federal ministers to sign off on the funding is going to make a significant contribution to the local community, making access to the hospital safer and more accessible for elderly patients and families. This is a great outcome for Rockhampton. People have been crying out for a decent hospital car park in Rockhampton for years, and I'm proud to have led the charge to fix the issue once and for all.