Calls for Lucas to step down

“(PAUL) Lucas has got to take responsibility,” Queensland Public Sector Union Wide Bay organiser Rob Fossen said yesterday while calling for the state Health Minister to step down.

Mr Fossen said a bungled Queensland Health payroll system, which has not been paying employees correctly, will cost taxpayers up to $100 million; money that could have been better spent.

“Many hundreds of health workers across the Wide Bay have suffered financial confusion and hardship since Easter this year and will go on being disadvantaged until at least the middle of 2011, due to the grossly inadequate pay system imposed on the Queensland health workforce,” Mr Fossen said.

He said every Gympie Hospital employee would have been affected in some way and, leading up to every pay day, Queensland Health (QH) employees were worried about their wages.

“The Health Minister, Paul Lucas, needs to step down or be removed from his position.

“He must take responsibility for this massive failure of public administration.

“Queensland Health workers have maintained there professional work ethic even though they have been incorrectly paid had wages garnisheed without consultation and at times not even paid at all.

“These are basic legal requirements by any employer.

“It is time as a Community that we started to support these valuable people and let the Government know that they have to be accountable for their responsibilities.

“We need to send a strong message by going to and letting the Health Minister know it is time to Stand up and Step Down.”

More than 1500 people have already joined the campaign asking for Lucas to step down.

“We need to support these valuable people who make all our lives better, during their difficult times.”

Member for Gympie David Gibson said it was great to see the QPSU get serious about the health payroll debacle and have them join with the LNP in calling for the dismissal of the Health Minister.

“We have recently seen how quickly the Labor party can operate with the removal of a Prime Minister when the polling looked like they could loose the next Federal election; surely this is a far more important issue which deserves the sacking of the Deputy Premier and Health Minister for incompetence.

“Residents of the Gympie electorate are unfortunately all too familiar with the incompetent bumbling of Paul Lucas.

As Minister for Infrastructure he pushed ahead ignoring independent scientific advice that the proposed Traveston Dam would be a failure and was partly responsible for the waste of more than $500 million of taxpayer’s dollars in the failed project.

“Clearly Minister Lucas has a track record of failures under his watch and in light of this massive debacle with the health payroll he has no option but to stand down.

Mr Gibson said Gympie Hospital staff had expressed concerns about the QPSU and the Queensland Nurses Union being too close to the government.

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