The Queensland Children’s Hospital in South Brisbane.
The Queensland Children’s Hospital in South Brisbane.

Newman weighs in to hospital fight

FORMER Queensland premier Campbell Newman says the State Government's poll used to justify the renaming of the children's hospital should be referred to the corruption watchdog, if public servants were found to have voted excessively.

Mr Newman on Monday said if public resources were used to manipulate an online survey on the renaming of the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital, then the matter should be subject to a Crime and Corruption Commission inquiry.

According to Right to Information documents, hundreds of votes in favour of the name change came from the same IP addresses, including some reportedly emanating from ministerial offices.

 

Former premier Campbell Newman has weighed in on the debate about the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital name change.
Former premier Campbell Newman has weighed in on the debate about the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital name change.

The Government partly relied on the survey to justify its decision to rename the facility the Queensland Children's Hospital. Mr Newman said the IP addresses, which were not revealed in the RTI documents, should be publicly released to determine where the votes came from.

"That's my big concern here that it's literally people on the payroll of Queensland taxpayers (who) have engaged in a deception during work hours when we're paying them to do other things," he said.

"If that's the case, absolutely the CCC should be involved."

Mr Newman said the matter should not be referred to the CCC if it was determined that State Government IP addresses were not involved.

Health Minister Steven Miles yesterday said he did not intend to undermine or second-guess the decision of the Right to Information officers to not release the IP addresses involved in the survey.

Health Minister Steven Miles. Picture: AAP/Richard Waugh
Health Minister Steven Miles. Picture: AAP/Richard Waugh

But a spokeswoman for the minister last night claimed all ministerial offices shared just a handful of IP addresses.

"There are just three IP addresses for all ministerial offices, including one for Wi-Fi, and that would cover over 200 staff," she said.

Opposition Deputy Leader Tim Mander renewed calls for the Lady Cilento name to be retained at the hospital, describing the survey as "rigged and a rort".

He also called for the IP addresses to be released and said there should be an independent investigation.