POLITICIANS have spoken of their anger at the appointment of Jim McGowan AM as chair of the South West Queensland Health Board over local and Paroo Shire Mayor Lindsay Godfrey.
Cr Godfrey served as board chairman for the past three years but will be replaced by Mr McGowan from May 18.
Liberal National Party Leader Tim Nicholls said south west Queensland locals deserved better than a fly-in, fly out Health boss that has no understanding of regional health issues.
“People will be disappointed to know a local like Lindsay Godfrey is being replaced by a former Labor Director General who will be doing business from his arm chair in Brisbane,” he said.
“There has been no explanation granted.
“All we can think of is that this is about reducing the influence of local people on their local health boards and Cameron Dick centralising power back into Brisbane which directly goes against the whole idea of having local health and hospital services where local people provide local input.”
Warrego MP Ann Leahy said she was bitterly disappointed that the South West Hospital and Health Service would be chaired by a Labor appointee.
“This role must be held by someone absolutely independent who is prepared to stand up for the needs of south west Queenslanders,” MsLeahy said.
“Mr McGowan was a long-serving Director-General under the Bligh and Beattie Labor governments but as far I can see has no experience in delivering the critical health services that these remote areas need.”
The Queensland Country Life was unable to make contact with Cr Godfrey over the appointment.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said South West Hospital and Health Board was a diverse group with four men and four women.
He said about 30 people applied for positions on the board during the expressions of interest period.
“I have asked Mr Jim McGowan AM, who has a distinguished career in public administration to be the new Board Chair,” he said.
“Mr McGowan will be a wonderful addition to the hospital board, helping ensure the continuing focus on delivering and expanding health services to south-west residents and overseeing delivery of the new Roma Hospital.”