Former Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella denied allegations by a local newspaper that she shoved Independent MP Cathy McGowan at the inauguration of a hospital. She also said that the voters missed out on $10 million in health funding after they elected McGowan for which the Coalition was accused of focusing on a “political payback” than the voters’ health needs.
The former MP said in a heated political debate on Skynews that in 2013, the Tony Abbott government would have announced a $10 million funding for a local hospital if she won the northwest Victorian seat of Indi.
“I had a commitment for a $10m allocation to the Wangaratta hospital that if elected I was going to announce a week after the election,” Mirabella said during the debate on Thursday, as quoted by The Guardian. “That is $10m that Wangaratta hasn’t had because Cathy got elected.”
She added, “So the question is: who can best deliver that funding in a Turnbull Coalition government? It’s about who has the ability and the knowledge and the contacts in government to go to the top of the list. Cathy wasn’t able to do it – I will be.”
Opposition health spokesperson Catherine King said that the comments by Mirabella revealed a very disturbing approach of the Coalition towards health policies. “This is a deeply disturbing insight into the Liberal Party’s approach to health policy, which puts politics before the needs of patients,” The Australian quoted her as saying.
Previous Health Minister Peter Dutton’s office did not confirm the claims made by Mirabella.
Earlier in the night, Mirabella also said she didn’t shove McGowan at the inauguration of a hospital. She released a statement that held that Mirabella “intervened” to prevent a photo being taken with Liberal MP Ken Wyatt. She described the incident as an unfortunate one, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.