Qld health payroll fix to cost $412m

Lawrence Springborg will stand again for the seat of Southern Downs.
Lawrence Springborg will stand again for the seat of Southern Downs. Jenna Cairney

HEALTH minister Lawrence Springborg cannot confirm Queensland's bungled payroll system will be fixed inside this government term.

The Member for Southern Downs said on Tuesday the cost of mending the failed system had blown out to $412 million as he demanded the former administration release its payroll-related Cabinet documents in the interests of transparency.

Mr Springborg said the cost of trying to make the payroll system work was $201 million for current financial year alone, well above the original $48 million-a-year price-tag to execute the system.

He said the $201 million would have funded between 2000 and 2500 nurses for the year across Queensland.
"That is the enormity of this economic bungle," he said.

"It is very clear to me the figures that have been presented to the people of Queensland in the lead up to the state election at very best could be confusing but certainly at the very worst comprise deliberate cover up and absolute maladministration by the previous Labor government.

"The previous health minister Paul Lucas indicated the (total) fix would be in the order of $209 million ... over three years.

"Now we've seen something that's cost about $60 million in the first year, $150 million in the second year and $201 million in the third year and really no serious end in sight."

Mr Springborg said the LNP would continue trying to fix the faulty system rather than scrapping it despite "significant problems".

"If we don't go forward with this system, any system we adopt still has some systemic challenges such as integration with rostering and awards interpretation," he said.

"I believe we can fix it but I believe that it's going to require a significant investment of resources."

Mr Springborg asked Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk for all briefing notes to her predecessors and any information taken to Cabinet including their deliberations.

Ms Palaszczuk said health workers would be disappointed their minister had decided to play politics rather than focus on fixing the Queensland Health payroll debacle.

"Mr Springborg's own department holds information that helped develop Cabinet submissions on the payroll issue. He might consider asking them for it," she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said Mr Springborg should know any request to access past Cabinet papers must come from the Cabinet Secretary and he was more interested in a "more interested in a political stunt than solving the payroll problems".

She said numerous relevant documents had already been made available publicly on the Premier's Department website.

Topics:  lawrence springborg payroll system queensland health

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