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Updated: Nov 1, 2018

Shellharbour MP, Anna Watson is today calling on the Minister for Health to stop covering up documentation relating to the redevelopment of Shellharbour Hospital that was due to be released under a freedom of information request.

Ms Watson submitted a freedom of information application regarding the public redevelopment of Shellharbour Hospital in March of this year. Nearly six months later, the Ministry of Health has still not handed over the documents and is refusing to provide an estimated release date.

Under the GIPA Act, Government departments have 20 working days to make a decision on an access application. Extensions are often agreed to by both parties where necessary but applications are usually dealt with in less than two months.

This stalling comes almost a year after the Minister for Health and the Member for Kiama announced that the redevelopment of Shellharbour Hospital would begin this year.

Ms Watson has today written to the Minister, calling on him to release the documents as a matter of a priority.

A subsequent freedom of information request submitted by Ms Watson in July seeking updated information on the Hospital’s redevelopment has also attracted a $1,380 processing fee.

Quotes Attributable to Anna Watson MP:

“It’s clear that the Minister is trying to cover something up. Freedom of information requests don’t take six months to process, nor should they be prohibitive in cost.

“It’s unacceptable that our community is still in the dark about what their hospital’s redevelopment will include. We’ve been kept waiting for far too long.

“The Minister is dragging his feet on this redevelopment. First it was the attempted privatisation of our hospital, now he won’t even release documentation relating to the details of this long-overdue redevelopment. This is disgraceful.”

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