Putting Wrong Right

by Ted Sorensen
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“The Premier and Deputy Premier should concern themselves less with what I am doing and use their visit to apologise to Fraser Coast residents for ripping them off through higher power bills and car registration and also explain why their loony left policies are killing jobs and hurting the state’s economy.
“I have seen a lot of fluff and staged media events this week from this risk-averse Premier, who has finally worked out where the Fraser Coast is after nearly three years, but I haven’t seen much else, except for the odd selfie here and there.
“Hopefully she swans out of here as quickly as she swanned in.
“I see the human face of Annastacia Palaszczuk’s failures daily but all she is interested in is cheap political point-scoring and grandstanding for the cameras.
“I have been fighting for upgrades to the Emergency Department of the Hervey Bay Hospital for almost a decade.
“In fact, I asked the Minister in 2015* when he planned on actually delivering the LNP’s hospital expansion instead of just talking about it.
“Let’s not forget, in 2013/14 under the LNP planning began on a significant expansion of the emergency department and support facilities.
“Detailed planning and preparing of a funding bid for a substantial development in emergency services at Hervey Bay Hospital happened in the LNP’s final year.
“Once again we see Labor trying to rewrite history and take credit for other people’s hard work.
“Finally, after a decade of lobbying by me and, despite nearly three years of Palaszczuk Labor dithering, and ironically just before a looming election, I am happy that Hervey Bay locals have their new extension.
“My focus is on continuing to provide strong representation for my local community and winning votes for the LNP.
“I know that the Queensland Labor Party, along with their union paymasters, will run a massive scare campaign in my electorate because they have no record to run on.”


*Please see “Hansard Extracts” below

Question on Notice

No. 1433

Asked on 30 August 2016

MR SORENSEN asked the Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services (HON C R DICK) –

Will the Minister advise what date is the work expected to start on the extension to the Hervey Bay Hospital Accident and Emergency facilities?


I thank the Honourable Member for Hervey Bay for his question.

Funding for the redevelopment of the Hervey Bay Hospital emergency department was announced in the 2015-2016 State Budget, as part of the Government’s $180 million Enhancing Regional Hospitals Program.

Since that time, significant work has been undertaken to bring this project to readiness. I am pleased to advise that the development of the business case has been finalised, and that the construction procurement stage will commence very shortly, so that early works can commence without delay.

This important project will provide modern health facilities for the people of Hervey Bay and support growth in the region. The new facilities will address Hervey Bay Hospital’s emergency department capacity issues and meet the steadily increasing demand for healthcare now and into the future.

Queensland Parliament Hansard Green

DATE: 07/09/2017


SUBJECT: Hervey Bay Electorate


Hervey Bay Electorate

W4 Mr SORENSEN (Hervey Bay—LNP) (9.23 pm): I welcome government ministers to my electorate

of Hervey Bay. While they are in Hervey Bay they can explain to Glen and Helen Harney of Good Look Garage Doors why they have never been paid for $17,000 worth of garage doors. The Harneys will most likely never get paid for them as they were subcontracted to a company that went into receivership when they were doing work at the local school. The company, which tendered for the contracted work through Housing and Public Works, seemed to have no builder nominee associated with the ABN. I am still researching this matter but I can say that it is a mess.

People in my electorate deserve to know who is living next door to them; especially when it comes to young criminals. Labor’s sneaky plan to build suburban detention centres in our community is simply not on. Dennis, a retired detective sergeant of the New South Wales police force, wrote to me. His letter states-

1 assure you that these houses do not work, despite what governments might tell you. They are the breeding grounds for criminality, not to mention illicit drugs and local crime will rise. Can you imagine the poor person who has to live next door to one of these houses, even the same street would be distasteful.

Labor’s sneaky plan is a knee-jerk reaction to their botched policy to move 17-year-olds out of adult jail and youth detention.

The Minister for Health underfunds, understaffs and underestimates what he is doing to the doctors, nursing staff and patients at Hervey Bay Hospital. This government has more front than Woolies, spruiking about how good it is, when I see the human face of its failures every day. A letter I received from a retired nurse in Hervey Bay states—

I have been nursing for 31 years and loved it. There were some days Ted that I would have done it for free. It is such a shame it has become about how much money can be saved and someone looking good for it. Hervey Bay is growing at a pace, our hospital is cracking under the pressure, we need new equipment—not old and second hand which have passed its use by date, we need more Dr’s and nurses … We need proactive people at the coalface of patient care, not more executive level ‘yes’ people—that walk around full of their own self importance.

That is one of the problems we have. While those opposite are flying into Hervey Bay I ask them to look at the airport and think about who delivered that. They should take a trip up to Hervey Bay State High School and look at the sport centre. Then they can go to the hospital precinct and look at the cancer care facilities and the dental clinic. Who achieved that?

Record of Proceedings, 24 August 2017


Hervey Bay Electorate, Health

Mr SORENSEN (Hervey Bay—LNP) (2.43 pm): I am sick and tired of sitting in this place listening to the health minister’s self-praise and propaganda about his handling of the Queensland Health service. Let us talk about Mrs Bosewell, who was categorised as a category 2 patient on 26 August 2016 after presenting at the A&E with very serious symptoms of bowel matter leaking into her vagina. Worse than that, Mrs Bosewell had to wait nine months for an operation, all while she was on antibiotics that would have knocked an elephant over to stave off the infections. She had to wait nine months for that operation. There is nothing to celebrate here, especially with those sorts of symptoms. When she finally got to surgery, the operation did not go well, The notes of the poor surgeon who was trying to save this woman’s life described the hardships he had to deal with. He must have been under an enormous amount of pressure.

I recently wrote to the health minister to make an urgent plea on behalf of a lady who was recently in Hervey Bay Hospital and who was nil by mouth for six days and waiting a total of nine days for surgery on her leg. That is right—six days nil by mouth. That was a nightmare. Each time they realised they could not go ahead with the operation, the kitchen staff were not there or the meal service was over.

The most serious one I leave to last—and maybe the health minister will be less jolly about what he thinks he is doing. A doctor in our area took her own life. This doctor had inquiries in with her solicitor and with the health union representative. This doctor wanted to take time off to see her ill and dying mother. I was advised that the leave requested was denied. Days later she took her own life, and three days later her mother passed away, This is unthinkable. I table the letter that Mrs Bosewell wrote.

Tabled paper: Letter, undated, from Ms Rachelle Boswell to the member for Hervey Bay, Mr Ted Sorensen MP, regarding surgery waiting times [1455].

I will read into the record a note from inside a thank you card from a constituent we assisted. It states—

Finally, get surgery after three years of health issues and dealing with GPs and hospitals. I had an appointment 7 days after I contacted you and surgery six weeks later.

I table that thank you letter.

Tabled paper Letter, undated, from an unknown person to the member for Hervey Bay, Mr Ted Sorensen MP, regarding surgery waiting times 11456].

The coroner in our area is lacking resources. I think there is only one staff member there and the situation is unbearable.

(Time expired)

28 Oct 2015                                  Questions Without Notice                                               2475

Hervey Bay Hospital

Mr SORENSEN: My question without notice is to the Minister for Health. Given that local paramedics have complained about the return of ambulance ramping under Labor, can the minister advise when the Hervey Bay Hospital emergency department expansion will be approved?

Mr DICK: I thank the member for Hervey Bay for his question. I was delighted to be up in Hervey Bay recently to open the new oral healthcare centre—promised by Labor and delivered by Labor. In relation to ramping, I genuinely urge the member for Hervey Bay to speak to the Leader of the Opposition and ask for an explanation from him about why he removed the metropolitan emergency department access initiative directive. That resulted in a doubling of ramping.

I have spoken to the hospital and health service and other staff at Hervey Bay. The Leader of the Opposition and the member for Hervey Bay know that we have made a commitment of $180 million for our Enhancing Regional Hospitals program. That money goes to the electorates of Caloundra, Hervey Bay, Warrego and Gladstone, where we are going to build a new emergency department.

I say to the member for Hervey Bay that there is a planning process involved in all health facilities. I assure the member for Hervey Bay that we will take our time to get planning right. Our government knows that when you do not plan things properly and you do not execute that plan properly—when you do not properly commission a hospital and you do not properly open a hospital, namely, the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital—you establish legacy issues that take months and months to resolve, and that creates ongoing problems. I say to the member for Hervey Bay—

Mr McArdle interjected.

Mr DICK: No, there is a planning process that will be put in place by the hospital and health service and by the Department of Health, and the direction they get from me is: do it right and do it properly so that we do not have legacy issues, like at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, to clean up after the event.

Members opposite laughed the last time when I said that there were clean-up issues to be addressed in Health. We have put $70 million into the Lady Cilento hospital to address the mess left by the member for Southern Downs and to support our hardworking staff, whom he abandoned as health minister, where he did not properly discharge his responsibility.

I say to the member for Hervey Bay that we are going to get it right. We are very happy to invest in the hospital in his electorate, to expand it, but we will take our time to get it right. We will get our infrastructure group in the department to work with the hospital and health service in Wide Bay to make sure that expansion is right. The budget papers make it clear that there is $180 million over four years, but we will work closely to make sure that expansion is right and delivers for the Hervey Bay and Fraser Coast community.

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