$13M renal accommodation project falls over

Posted on 24 February 2013 under Kidney Disease.
Tags: dialysis, government funding & infrastructure
Warren Snowdon

Warren Snowdon

On 27 June 2011, the Australian Government announced that it would spend $13 million on the construction of accommodation in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek for “renal patients and their families relocating to a town centre to access dialysis services.”1

The Federal Minister for Indigenous Health (Hon Warren Snowdon MP) stated that the proposed facilities would “go a long way towards addressing the dislocation Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients feel when they have no choice but to leave their communities for treatment.”2

At a Senate Estimates hearing on 15 February 2013, the Federal Government confirmed that the Northern Territory Government had advised it that it was not able to meet the recurrent costs of running the proposed facilities and therefore would “not be accepting and using the money for renal-centric accommodation.”3

In response to further questions from Senator Rachel Siewert (Australian Greens), the Department of Health and Ageing advised that:

  • $3million of the original $13 million commitment had previously been returned to Treasury when “it was not used in the first year” and, accordingly, this money was “no longer available for that project”, and
  • the Department was “working as quickly as possible to finalise” advice to Minister Snowdon on “alternative options” to enable him “to make decisions within his timeframe.”4

References

  1. Snowdon, W. 27 June 2011. “Australian Government Responds to Renal Study with $13m Funding,” media release.
  2. Snowdon, W. 27 June 2011. “Australian Government Responds to Renal Study with $13m Funding,” media release.
  3. Australian Senate. 15 February 2013. “Community Affairs Legislation Committee: Estimates”. Hansard (proof copy), p45.
  4. Australian Senate. 15 February 2013. “Community Affairs Legislation Committee: Estimates”. Hansard (proof copy), p45-46.
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