Outlined in a Press Release from Minister John Hill’s office today, there seems to be confusion within the Liberal Party as to exactly what the proposed savings of redeveloping the RAH as opposed to rebuilding it will be.
With the televised debate between Mike Rann and Isobel Redmond scheduled for tonight, it doesn’t give the Liberal Party much time to work out if the proposed saving on the RAH redevelopment is accurate or not. No doubt the issue is going to be the weapon of choice for Media Mike’s inevitably polished performance.
Opposition spokesman Duncan McFetridge distanced himself yesterday from the claim that the Liberal’s plan would save an estimated $700 million of taxpayer’s money with a statement that it was more of a “ball park figure”. In what has become classic opposition form over previous months, Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer, Steven Griffiths, hotly refuted this statement claiming they were “not ball park figures”. Surely being the Shadow Treasurer and Chief Bean Counter he would know wouldn’t he? Apparently not, with Isobel Redmond coming out later in the day claiming they were in fact “ball park” figures.
So your guess is as good as mine. Not a very decisive position from the Opposition – decisively indecisive perhaps? Unfortunate being that this issue has to be one of the greatest opportunities the Liberal Party has to gain some ground on the Rann Government in the polls as Adelaideans stand divided on the issue of the RAH, with the Rann Government’s plan to build a new hospital not receiving the public support they had initially hoped for.
So I’m thinking the debate tonight, televised on Chanel 10, will be very entertaining if nothing else. The Liberal Party are going to need some concrete evidence that they can indeed substantiate their claim to a $700 million dollar saving, or face a certain ‘uppercut’ from the ALP corner. However don’t expect Isobel to go down without a fight, never one to back away from rolling up the sleeves, she’ll be sure to stand toe to toe with the Premier on most issues. It will certainly be interesting.