Prior to this, the Government had refused to debate Central Coast Labor MP’s on the issue, using their Parliamentary majority to silence them.  Yesterday however, they had no choice.  Because a petition supported by over 20 000 people forced a debate.

The speakers for the Labor Opposition were Member for Wyong, David Harris and Member for The Entrance David Mehan.  The Government gagged the Member for Swansea Yasmin Catley refusing to let her debate the petition, with member for Terrigal Adam Crouch blatantly shutting her down.

The Central Coast Labor MP’s led the debate, with the support of more than 100 Central Coast community members and health workers cheering them on from the gallery of the Legislative Assembly.

The Health Minister Jillian Skinner was not present at the debate.

Quotes attributable to David Harris MP

“It’s a shame we had to drag the Government into this debate kicking and screaming.

“Neither Mike Baird or his health Minister showed up, they left it to the Member for Terrigal and the Member for Kiama to argue for the Government.

“If the Government really believed this was a good policy they would have had their Health Minister present at the debate, instead she was hiding from scrutiny

“To have the member for Kiama debating this was an insult to our community, I doubt he could find Wyong on a map, let alone understand the value that our hospital has to our community.”

Quotes attributable to David Mehan MP

The people of the Central Coast have made it very clear that they want Wyong Hospital to remain in public hands.

“Our communities have come out in force and made it clear what they think, Mike Baird and his Government just need to listen.”

Quotes attributable to Yasmin Catley MP

“The Liberal government actually intervened to shut down the debate against the privatisation of Wyong Hospital, before I was able to tell them why the people of the Swansea electorate think it is such a bad idea.”

“The Minister didn’t even turn up to the debate, instead sending a Member of Parliament from Kiama in to do her bidding. What would an MP from Kiama know about how important Wyong Hospital is to our local community?

“The Central Coast deserves better than this. They fought hard to have the hospital built, they raised the funds to adequately equip the hospital, and many workers actually dedicated a small amount of their weekly take home pay to the cause.

Now Mike Baird and Jillian Skinner want to sell Wyong Hospital out from under our community. What a disgrace. 

“Instead of shutting down the debate, while the Minister hid from the people of the Central Coast, the Liberals should reverse this terrible decision and keep Wyong Hospital in public hands.