by Marguerite Cuddihy
A BRISBANE-based adjunct professor has been appointed as the new chair for the South West Hospital and Health Service.
Paroo Mayor and former board chair Lindsay Godfrey will be replaced by Jim McGowan, a former director general and current adjunct professor at Griffith University.
"I have asked Jim McGowan, who has a distinguished career in public administration., to bethe new board chair,” Health Minister Cameron Dick said.
"Mr McGowan will be a wonderful addition to the hospital board, helping ensure the continuing focuson delivering and expanding health servicestosouth-west residents andoverseeing delivery of the new Roma Hospital.”
Mr McGowan paid tribute to Mr Godfrey and outgoing board members Richard Moore, James Hetherington and Karen Prentis.
"I thank them for their commitment, time and dedication and their effortsthat have gone intohelping build the successful board and efficient, locally responsive health service that we have today,” he said.
"I would also like to congratulate new board members Ray Chandler, Karen Tully and Stewart Gordon on their appointments.”
Liberal National Party leader Tim Nicholls said south-west Queensland locals deserved better than a fly-in, fly-out health boss who had no understanding of regional health issues.
"True to form this do-nothing Labor Government has yet again handed a plum gig to a Labor mate, to replace true-blue local Lindsay Godfrey,” Mr Nicholls said.
"Long-time former Labor director general Jim McGowan will earn close to$100,000 from the comfortof his armchair in Brisbane, showing yet again that this State Government is more interested in creating jobs for its mates instead of jobs for Queenslanders.”
Warrego MP Ann Leahy said she was bitterly disappointed the SWHHS would be chaired by a fly-in, fly-out Labor appointee.
"This role must be held by someone absolutely independent, who is prepared to stand up for the needs of south-west Queenslanders,” Ms Leahy said.
"This decision is a slap in the face for local medical professionals and others who understand the bush and have the interests of their local community at heart.”
Mr Godfrey remains under contract with the SWHHS until May 17 and said he was not able to comment on the decision by the minister.
"I will support the new chair during transition, in the interests of the community and the health service,” he said.