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Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Page: 3200

Mr SNOWDON (Lingiari) (13:42): I rise to express my concern at the decision by the Northern Territory government and the Abbott government here in Canberra to delay the construction of the new hospital for Palmerston, which is near my electorate of Lingiari. This hospital will primarily serve the Darwin rural area that is in my electorate and the second Top End city of Palmerston, which includes the NT electorate of Blain, which goes to a by-election on 12 April. There is a grave disappointment in the community at the announcement by the government that this hospital will not be constructed and will not be finished until 2018—a two-year delay in construction. The initial money was committed by the former, Labor government of $110 million. Had the Labor government been re-elected, we would have had that building commenced this year.

Mrs Griggs: Rubbish!

Mr SNOWDON: This delay is a major concern to the community. The member for Solomon interjects. She said on ABC radio a day or so ago that the reason for the delay was the wet season. How ridiculous!

Mrs Griggs: I did not!

Mr SNOWDON: The people of the Palmerston rural area are quite right to ask, 'What is happening here?' We know that the people of Blain are asking what is happening to them. They are suffering from the higher cost of living as a result of the CLP government. They want to see this building constructed and hospital services provided to the people of Palmerston and the people of the Darwin regional area.