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Future of the Repat

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will ensure a genuine health precinct continues to operate on the site of the Repat Hospital.

The Problem

In February 2015, the Weatherill Labor Government broke its promise to “never ever close” the Repat when it announced the hospital would close as part of the Government’s controversial Transforming Health agenda.

In the face of public outrage, particularly from the Veterans’ community, the Government gave a commitment that the Repat would be retained as a health, aged care and supported accommodation precinct and ruled out selling any of the land for “major commercial or residential development.”

Now, Labor looks set to break that promise too.

In mid-2017, the Weatherill Government entered into a contract to sell the entire site to aged care provider ACH Group.

The contract has not been settled but ACH has flagged that it wants the site to include substantial residential development, student accommodation, retail outlets and other elements that go beyond what Labor promised.

Labor is ignoring the South Australian community’s demand that the site be retained as a genuine health precinct.

Labor must delay settlement of the contract with ACH until after the March 2018 state election.

The Opportunity

The Repat site has substantial, quality health facilities. Many of these have been built or refurbished in recent years at taxpayers’ expense.

These valuable assets include:

  • the Fourth Generation Rehabilitation Clinics
  • the Older Person’s Mental Health Facility (Ward 18)
  • the hydrotherapy pool
  • operating theatres
  • Primary Health and Outpatient Clinics
  • 60-bed rehabilitation wards.

The fire sale of the site and the Labor Government’s prohibition on SA Health services being delivered from the site severely narrow the opportunities for the site and trash the taxpayers’ investment.

Our state’s health services, particularly our southern metropolitan health network, cannot afford to lose these valuable assets. Some are needed to address current problems – for example, with a massive backlog in elective surgery in Adelaide, the Repat operating theatres should be used to bring the current backlog under control. At present there are more than 1800 overdue operations in Adelaide, compared to less than 500 cases at this time last year. Ward 18 could help deal with the shortage of suitable accommodation for older people with behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia – people who until recently would have been admitted to Oakden.

The State Liberals' Plan

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will ensure a genuine health precinct continues to operate on the site of the Repat Hospital.

We will issue a Ministerial Development Plan Amendment that will zone the site for health care services.

As well as amending the Development Plan, a Liberal Government will take further action to maintain the Daw Park site as a genuine health precinct by ensuring that SA Health works with ACH (or any future owner of the site) to pursue the best use, best value services in the health precinct, including SA Health public health services.

A Liberal Government will re-open the operating theatres on the Repat site to address the Weatherill Government’s elective surgery backlog.

If the Labor Government settles on the sale to ACH prior to the election, all options will be on the table, including the possible compulsory acquisition of key parts of the site.

We will not stand by and see desperately needed, quality health assets lay idle. Even if the Repat closes and even if ACH takes ownership of the site, a health precinct must be maintained at Daw Park to ensure that urgently needed health facilities worth tens of millions of taxpayers’ dollars are not wasted.

Part of our plan for SA