Repatriation general hospital

Mr DULUK (Waite) (15:34): Today, I rise to spread the good news about the reactivation of the Repat, which was launched this morning. Sir, you would remember, as so many on this side of the house do, when the Repat closed under the Labor government back in 2017. It was a disgraceful day in the history of public health in South Australia. The Labor Party still closed the Repat even though veterans slept on the steps of parliament for 161 nights. To protest the closing of the Repat, 120,000 signatures were presented to this parliament, but the Labor government, through trashing our state health system, still closed the Repat. That was despite former premier Mike Rann saying that the Labor Party would never, ever close the Repat.

The good news is that as of March 2018, when the Marshall Liberal government came to office, we tore up the contract for the sale of the Repat. The Repat has remained open. A master plan has been released to the people of South Australia, and today funding has been matched to that master plan. The Repat has a long, proud history, with many South Australians and veterans having a special connection to that place, a place of rehabilitation of not only people's bodies but their minds.

The hospital, located at Daw Park, has served Australian Defence Force personnel for more than 70 years. It was one of a number of repatriation general hospitals set up by the commonwealth government for returned servicemen at the conclusion of the Second World War. That is why today's joint funding announcement between a federal Liberal government and a state Liberal government of $70 million to reactivate the Repat is so important. That activation of funds will ensure that the Repat remains a site of health services for South Australians for many, many years to come.

The federal government—today represented by the federal health minister, minister Hunt; the minister for ageing, Ken Wyatt; and local member for Boothby, Nicolle Flint—is injecting $30 million into a statewide brain and spinal rehabilitation unit. The Marshall Liberal government at the announcement this morning was represented by the Premier; the Minister for Health, minister Wade in the other place; the member for Gibson; the member for Davenport; the member for Elder; and myself. We were there to share the fantastic announcement with our community—the community we have worked with, for and on behalf of for so many years to advocate for the reactivation of the Repat.

The state government will deliver $40 million to the precinct, including $14.7 million for an extra 18-bed specialised facility to care for patients suffering extreme symptoms of dementia. Over the past year, extensive community consultation has been undertaken to decide upon the best facilities to be used on the site of the Repat. Three concepts were developed for consideration and feedback following initial engagement with key community groups and clinicians.

Community forums, as recently as Sunday, were held at various locations to hear the views of the public, and that is so important. It is something the Marshall Liberal government will continue to do and will always do—that is, listen to the people of South Australia. A year was spent consulting the community and clinicians, and today we have a funded master plan, which is so important. As the member for Chaffey referred to in his remarks, this government is about delivering, and it is certainly delivering for the people of South Australia.

The amenities we see in the master plan are dementia services, older persons' mental health services, specialised brain and spinal rehabilitation, care transition and surgical procedures, all to be offered at the Repat. The new purpose-built state-of-the-art brain injury facility will be built to provide a 26-bed specialist inpatient ward, and the former rehabilitation wards will be redeveloped to provide a new 23-bed statewide spinal injury ward.

Following on from the Oakden scandal, an 18-bed specialist dementia care facility will be opened to care for some of our state's most vulnerable South Australians suffering extreme behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. This will form part of a dedicated dementia village, which will allow 60 places of care for people with dementia who have complex care needs. A town square will also be developed to create a cultural hub, including a new wheelchair training and sports gym, refurbishment of the SPF Hall and a new cafe. The Repat hydrotherapy services are open and running. Beds have been saved and will remain open, as will the beds at the ViTA precinct.

We are delivering on our election promise. We cannot do it without the help of the community. I thank all those community members for their patience and forbearance for many years since Labor proposed to close the Repat and for working with this government to reactivate the Repat.