The Kingaroy Hospital redevelopment in August 2020.
The Kingaroy Hospital redevelopment in August 2020.

Deb Frecklington demands answers over new hospital flooding

Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington is demanding answers after heavy rain reportedly caused major flooding in Kingaroy's brand new hospital facility.

The former opposition leader said the South Burnett community deserves answers after a loss of services at the new Kingaroy Hospital following serious water damage during a rain event in January.

Mrs Frecklington said information shared with her was concerning and had potential serious ramifications for access to important health services.

"This is a brand new Hospital, only opened just before Christmas and we are now hearing reports that so much water leaked through the roof that the maternity ward will be closed for some time," Mrs Frecklington said.

"We have heard that new mums and bubs were forced to evacuate on the day of the flooding and that the ward has not reopened due to water damage."

Deb Frecklington at Parliament house. She announced she would be stepping down from the position of LNP leader today. 2 November 2020 Brisbane 2020 Picture by Richard Gosling
Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington is demanding answers after heavy rain reportedly caused major flooding in Kingaroy’s brand new hospital facility.

Mrs Frecklington also said he had received reports the brand new CT Scanner, which is on the ground floor, was also damaged and is out of action.

"It is unacceptable to think that a brand new building could be damaged to this extent, leaving our community with questions about how this could have happened and when services will return to normal," she said.

"Given that this project started as a $62 million redevelopment, and has now blown out to $92.5million, surely this amount of money would ensure a waterproof building? We also need to know how much this will cost to repair and who is footing the bill.

"The Health Minister has not communicated with the community, instead keeping silent on the issue.

"Minister D'Ath needs to explain what has occurred and why, how many hospital beds are closed and how long the community will wait until repairs are complete."

Demolition works at the Kingaroy Hospital underway on January 20, 2021. Picture: Dominic Elsome
Demolition works at the Kingaroy Hospital underway on January 20, 2021. Picture: Dominic Elsome

The demand for answers came just a week after demolition works of the old hospital building kicked up a gear.

A Darling Downs Health spokesperson confirmed stage one of the project had been completed, and the full works were on track to finish by the end of the year.

"Stage one of the Kingaroy Hospital redevelopment project has been completed, delivering the new main hospital building," the spokesperson said.

"Stage two of the project is now underway, starting with demolition of the old main hospital building.

"Following demolition, we will begin construction of buildings to complete the hospital's main entrance, café, medical records area, and outpatient services facilities.

"Landscaping will also be done toward the end of the project, with stage two on track for completion at the end of the year.

"Staff and patients moved into the new main hospital building in December 2020, and we have received lots of positive feedback about the new facility.

"We would like to thank our Kingaroy Hospital staff, patients, and the Kingaroy community for their patience as we continue works to complete the Kingaroy Hospital redevelopment project this year."