The former Newman government was quoted up to $1 million to install Prince George’s name atop Queensland’s premier children hospital.
The former Newman government was quoted up to $1 million to install Prince George’s name atop Queensland’s premier children hospital.

Newman wanted hospital name fit for a prince

THE cost of a foiled plan to name Queensland's children hospital after a prince has been revealed as up to $1 million, as the Opposition vows to refer a questionable poll over the latest renaming bid to the state's corruption watchdog.

News Queensland has learnt the former Newman government was quoted up to $1 million to install Prince George's name atop Queensland's premier children hospital as it awaited Buckingham Palace approval.

Government briefing notes viewed by The Courier-Mail show work to erect signage at the hospital was put on hold in August 2013 as the department awaited a decision on the name.

"A name change at the current stage of the QCH (Queensland Children's Hospital) construction will result in additional costs and construction program variations," the notes stated.

"The preferred name identified by the premier requires consent from Her Royal Majesty the Queen of England before it can be announced.

"There has been no response provided as yet."

The government was told it could delay naming the hospital until March and was given four cost options ranging from $765,000 to $950,000.

Former premier Campbell Newman. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Former premier Campbell Newman. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Cranes hired to put up the signs had to be sent away because a name had not been chosen.

"The crane planned to install the high-level building identification sign was removed from site on 15 September 2013," the documents said.

"A new mobile crane will need to be hired, at an additional cost … associated Brisbane City Council and Office for the Co-ordinator General approval will be needed for road closures for the mobile crane."

It comes at the Opposition announced last night it would refer an online poll that formed part of the consultation to change the name of the hospital to the Crime and Corruption Commission, after it was revealed thousands of yes votes came from only a handful of IP addresses.

The State Government is under fire from the Opposition and the Cilento family over its decision to return the hospital to its original project name of Queensland Children's Hospital.

The Government said the cost of changing the signage was not expected to exceed $500,000.

It is unknown what the exact final cost of the delayed naming was in 2013. However, according to the briefing notes, if a name was selected by December 10, 2013, it would have cost around $765,000.

It is understood former premier Campbell Newman and health minister Lawrence Springborg subsequently asked for options to honour a Queensland medical pioneer before settling on Lady Phyllis Cilento.

It was announced on December 15, 2013, that Lady Cilento would be given the honour.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said she was not part of the Newman Cabinet.

"I am not aware of this information from six years ago but this is a pretty desperate and petty attempt at a distraction from the Palaszczuk Government, who are in the midst of a voting rort scandal," she said.