22 Jun CHARTERS TOWERS PENS PETITION FOR NEW HOSPITAL
Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Member for Traeger Robbie Katter is elevating community demand for a new hospital in Charters Towers by sponsoring a petition launched by Charters Towers Regional Council.
The petition, posted to the Queensland Parliament website and distributed locally, had already gathered 648 signatures in support of a state-of-the-art hospital to boost the provision of the medical care in the community and reduce travel costs, reintroduce birthing services, support Indigenous patients to remain on-country, boost employment and construction, and encourage new residents.
The petition came after a community forum in early June which attracted strong response.
Mr Katter had long advocated for a new hospital in Charters Towers to deliver an adequate standard of healthcare and bring the 140-year-old facility into the 21st century.
He said while the community had gratefully secured dialysis services and assurances of a CT scanner, the end goal must be a new facility that retained current bed numbers and potentially reinstate birthing services along with general better access to modern medical care.
“The current State Government continually cites money as a barrier to the project but when they’re spending $2.7 billion on adding a few more seats to the Gabba Stadium in Brisbane, money is clearly not the problem, rather, priorities are,” Mr Katter said.
“Townsville University Hospital is earmarked for expansion but right now it’s struggling – declaring numerous code yellows in recent times – and sending patients from Charters Towers and surrounding communities to Townsville for everything that can’t be solved here at our local hospital is occupying already-strained beds, staff and resources.”
Within the Traeger electorate, the communities of Mount Isa, Richmond and Hughenden were all calling for a new hospital, with Cloncurry residents requesting an expansion of their facility.
But Mr Katter acknowledged the particularly strong advocacy from the people of Charters Towers and said he was extremely happy to offer all his support in pushing for a new hospital to be delivered.
“I would like to publicly acknowledge the good work and advocacy of Townsville Hospital and Health Service (THHS) Board Chair Tony Mooney,” he said.
“His dedication to supporting our town and our calls is a strong reason we have had several wins in Charters Towers. I will continue my regular correspondence with THHS, the Queensland Premier, Health Minister and of course the local community to continue fighting for the quality healthcare we deserve.”
Charters Towers Regional Council Mayor Frank Beveridge also weighed in on the importance of a new hospital for the region.
“Our current healthcare infrastructure is struggling to keep up, and it’s time for action,” he said.
“I implore those making the decisions to allocate the necessary resources and funding to make this vital project a reality.
“Our community’s health and well-being should be out utmost priority, and a new hospital in Charters Towers is a crucial step towards ensuring a brighter and healthier future for our region.”
Mr Beveridge said he encouraged the community to sign the petition and share the information to assist Council with its advocacy for the project. The petition can be accessed at the link below until 20th August 2023: