State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today held a special event to honour the Sunshine Coast University Hospital Action Group (SCUHAG) for being passionate advocates of the new hospital amid the Labor Government’s funding delays.
With the Sunshine Coast University Hospital just days away from its official open, SCUHAG members need to be acknowledged for their important role of ensuring the delivery of the Coast’s newest health facility.
“There are many people, rightly so, who have received praise for the new hospital, but SCUHAG has regrettably been overlooked”. Mr McArdle said.
“SCUHAG was the voice of the community and they worked tirelessly in the community’s interest to usher the hospital to construction despite some immense hurdles.” Mr McArdle said.
“A community can drive outcomes and we on the Coast need to honour the members of this determined group. They never gave up. Well done.”
The community-lead action group came into existence as a public overseer of the $1.8billion hospital and played a significant role in rallying for the project’s forward movement after the Labor Government delayed funding by nearly two years.
“I can remember every week for 18 months this group stood outside the hospital site demanding it be built. ‘Hospital Delay, NO WAY’, a phrase coined by Jarrod Bleijie Member for Kawana, became a well-known battle cry.” Mr McArdle said.
“They were also heavily involved in the protest march that saw thousands descend on the site one Sunday demanding action.” Mr McArdle Said
In the group’s infancy in 2011, SCUHAG chairman Maureen Mileham said they would keep an eagle-eye on the hospital developments.
"We will be keeping a watch to make sure they (Queensland Government) meet deadlines and the promises are kept." Ms Mileham said.
In 2012 under the LNP Government site works were finally launched under the watchful eye of SCUHAG’s campaign face, the late Brian Ginn.
“This is our chance to thank SCUHAG for this effort and to appreciate the power that people have to enact change.” Mr McArdle concluded.