Tasmania’s new government has announced a review of the troubled $586 million Royal Hobart Hospital redevelopment.
Health minister Michael Ferguson has told state parliament a three-member taskforce will examine the project and report within six months.
Mr Ferguson says the rebuild could run as much as $70 million over budget, while future operating costs have not been factored in.
“This project is riddled with risk, and is over-budget and unaffordable into the future,” the minister said.
“It would be foolhardy and irresponsible for my government to continue with the project as it stands.”
The review will cost less than $1 million, Mr Ferguson said.
He said the government remained committed to a “rescue” of the redevelopment on the current site in Hobart’s CBD.
Labor’s former health minister Michelle O’Byrne said the project had always faced challenges.
“They were known,” Ms O’Byrne said.
“Did none of you read the Auditor-General’s report?”
Hobart-based independent MP Andrew Wilkie negotiated $340 million of federal money for the project as part of his agreement to support the minority Gillard government in 2010.
Mr Wilkie has described the previous Labor-Green Tasmanian government’s handling of it as a “shambles”.
The Denison MP says the rebuild is already two years behind schedule.