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Wednesday, 3 April 2019
Page: 14613

Ms McBRIDE (Dobell) (13:31): In 2016, I stood with our community to stop the New South Wales Liberal government from selling off Wyong Hospital. Before being elected, I worked at Wyong Hospital for 10 years. Our community hospital matters to the people it cares for and to the dedicated staff who care for them. Due to the overwhelming community campaign, supported by the union movement, the New South Wales government had no choice but to back down on its privatisation plans.

Unfortunately, it appears that the New South Wales Liberals have not backed away from their user-pays approach to running our hospitals. At Gosford Hospital, the Liberal government has entered a five-year lease agreement with private parking company, Secure Parking, which will result in that company profiting to the tune of $1.9 million from the patients, carers and health workers of the coast. The New South Wales Liberal government policy on parking at hospitals means that Wyong Hospital will soon face parking fees for the first time. Wyong Hospital has never charged for parking. Wyong Hospital has very limited public transport.

At Gosford Hospital, staff are now being forced to pay over $1,200 a year to park at work, and visitors $19.90 per day or $6.70 an hour. This is more than at the John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle and more than at North Gosford Private Hospital.

I will fight parking fees being introduced at our community hospital in Wyong. The New South Wales Liberals have to stop privatising parking at our public hospitals. I call on the New South Wales Liberal government to reverse this decision and to keep free parking at Wyong Hospital.