MP Andrew Laming invites Labor candidate Tom Baster to debate

INVITE: Federal MP Andrew Laming has invited Labor's candidate Tom Baster to a public debate on funding for Redland Hospital. Photo: Brian Williams
INVITE: Federal MP Andrew Laming has invited Labor's candidate Tom Baster to a public debate on funding for Redland Hospital. Photo: Brian Williams

FEDERAL MP Andrew Laming has invited Bowman Labor candidate Tom Baster to a public debate on Redland Hospital funding.

Mr Laming said the debate would set the record straight on changes in federal and state government funding.

“We know federal funding to Metro South as a whole is increasing at a far greater rate than state funding,” Mr Laming said.

“But what we don’t know is the base rate and any change in state government funding for Redland Hospital alone.

“Labor holds that information under lock and key, refusing all requests to tell the community.”

Tom Baster, a retired doctor from Victoria Point, last month announced his intention to run as the Labor candidate for Bowman in the next federal election.

Last month Capalaba MP Don Brown told Parliament the federal government owed $134 million in the 2016-17 budget for Metro South Health, the hospital and health service area of Redland Hospital.

He said the federal government had cut bulk-billing and cut Medicare rebates.

Mr Brown said Mr Laming had been in office for 14 years during which he could have fought for fair funding.

“(He) has not done so for Redland Hospital,” Mr Brown said.

Mr Laming called for the public debate to be at Cleveland Markets at 8am on Sunday, September 16.

CANDIDATE: Tom Baster has been named as the Labor candidate for Bowman in the next federal election.

CANDIDATE: Tom Baster has been named as the Labor candidate for Bowman in the next federal election.

“This is a great opportunity to meet face to face with Dr Baster and get to the bottom of what is really happening with the funding of Redland Hospital,” Mr Laming said.

Mr Laming said the state government had delivered a 10 per cent increase to Metro South Health since being elected in 2014-15.

“Over the same period, the federal Coalition government has delivered nearly double that rate of funding growth to Metro South hospitals, which includes our Redland Hospital.”

Mr Laming previously said he would donate $1000 to a charity of Redlands MP Kim Richards’ choice if she could prove Queensland government funding to Redland Hospital was increasing at the same rate as that from the federal government.

Mr Laming said he had made the offer to Mr Baster and called for a debate.

“Here’s Dr Baster’s chance to come clean and reveal to Redlanders exactly the level of the support their hospital is receiving from Labor,” Mr Laming said.

“I look forward to seeing him at the doctors’ debate.”

Mr Baster has been asked to respond.