QLD govt should fund health, not mining companies: MP

The Queensland Government needs to provide more funding for health infrastructure, and should not rely on mining and energy companies, according to a state MP.

The Queensland Gas company (QGC) is financing the construction of a new satellite renal unit at Gladstone hospital and upgrades to the operating theatre announced by Premier Anna Bligh.

After the initial construction, Queensland Health will fund the ongoing costs.

Gladstone MP, Liz Cunningham told the ABC that while the unit will be of great benefit to the community, it should be the responsibility of the state government.

"It has to be questioned whether this Government is going to fund any infrastructure in Gladstone or is industry going to have to cover the costs of all infrastructure that we will need for the projected population growth?" Cunningham said.

But the Premier said the renal facility simply could not go ahead if it weren’t for the QGC funding.

"This service is only possible because not only is the gas company donating money for the capital but the Queensland Government will be funding its operation not just straightaway but forever, that’s a commitment of almost a quarter of $1 million," Ms Bligh said.

Mining companies often invest considerable amounts of money into infrastructure and services in the communities they are a part of.

Most recently, resource companies were amongst the biggest donators to the Queensland flood relief, giving millions of dollars and countless hours to rescuing and rebuilding.

Image: The Gladstone Observer

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