School or medical centreelection to decide future of hospital site

StateLiberalLeader Steven Marshall and Labor Premier Jay Weatherill have come out batting in the second week of the election, bothmaking a pitch for the soon-to-be former Royal Adelaide Hospital site.

The grab for the prime piece of real estate is a bid to win the crucial votes in the marginal seat of Adelaide, won by the Liberal Party at the 2010 election bya margin of 4.2 per cent.

Marshall was the first to claim the hospital- announcing on the weekend the Liberals’s planto use the site for a private health and medical services hub.

“There is great potential on the existing site for a range of new specialist centres and facilities to be moved into the precinct, offering patients a comprehensive facility that would cater to a range of health needs,” he said.

“Local universities, health organisations and other private consortia have already indicated a keen interest in use of the existing buildings and facilities.

“It is also vital that we support the existing retail and business infrastructure in the East End, by ensuring a working population remains in this part of the city.

Weatherill’s plan also aims to support infrastructure and jobs in the area but through a focuson education.

Premier Jay Weatherill announced on Mondayplans to spend $85 million to turnthe hospital site into a 1000 studenthigh school two years after the site is vacated in2016.

Mr Weatherill said the school would be a place for the world’s best and brightest students to study in an environment which partnered with leading scientific and medical research industries in South Australia.

“Adelaide has placed itself on the international stage in terms of our scienceand health research,” he said.

Labor candidate for the seat of Adelaide David O’Loughlin said the announcement marked a significant step forward for public education in the city.

“I have been working with local parents and primary schools since 2008 toimprove access to public high school education in the city,” he said.

“I first proposed this site two years ago as an excellent option due to itsproximity to the Botanic Gardens, two universities, Adelaide Zoo and the newhospital and research centre.

“I am confident it will, in the years ahead, become one of our most lovedpublic high schools.”

Current Royal Adelaide Hospital site gets political attention in lead up to South Australian election.

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