The widely-publicised sale of exotic art, consumables and other
assets formerly owned by the so-called Fake Tahitian Prince, Joel
Barlow, creates a belated opportunity for Queenslanders to help
provide better health services at their local hospital.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the Newman Government had earmarked proceeds from sales of Mr Barlow's assets to Queensland Health and its Hospital and Health Services.
“We are repairing the damage to local health services caused by years of financial mismanagement and lax standards,” Mr Springborg said.
"Queenslanders can support the recovery by bidding on the latest sale, at Woolloongabba on March 10."
Mr Springborg said years after Queensland Health was rocked by the payroll scandal and then the case involving Mr Barlow, portions of the missing cash were being recovered.
“The return of these funds (which have been subject to Crime and Misconduct Commission restraint under the Criminal Proceeds Confiscation Act 2002) will go a long way in the provision of essential frontline services,” he said.
“Already, eight new initiatives have been funded from anticipated sales this financial year. They include:
• $1.7 million to provide the human papilloma virus vaccine to boys
• $1 million for Breastscreen Queensland
• $2.5 million for Operating Room Management Information Systems
• $1.1 million for the Enhance Outbreak Response Program at Forensic and Scientific Services
• $1.37 million to continue the Know Your Numbers campaign administered by the National Stroke Foundation
• $1.9 million to continue the Queensland Quitline telephone service
• $850,000 in 2012-13 for Professor Ken O’Byrne to develop a comprehensive cancer translational research program including establishing a tissue biobank and conducting clinical trials at Princess Alexandra Hospital.
• $850,000 in 2012-13 for Professor Robyn McDermott to establish a Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Care in Cairns which will serve the rural and remote communities of far north Queensland, especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The centre will work closely with James Cook University and Cairns Base Hospital.
Mr Springborg said the distribution of the human papilloma virus vaccine to boys would help eliminate cervical cancer among Queensland women.
“This opportunity could have arisen sooner, but for the consequences of fraud and mismanagement,” he said.
“Now people at the auction can join in and help us turn things around.”
Minister for Health
The Honourable Lawrence Springborg
11th of February 2013