Exposed: Queensland Government covers up Lady Cilento name change

The Lady Cilento Chidren's Hospital Queensland
Damning proof has emerged that the Queensland Government had taken steps to change the name of the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital long before officials launched their so-called ‘public consultation’.

ASIC records show that the Queensland Government cancelled the hospital’s business name, “Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital” as well as the associated business name “Lady Cilento” in January 2018 – more than six months before it launched the public consultation process.

The hospital had been trading under the same name for three years which was renewed in September 2017 before its sudden cancellation in January 2018.

Supporters of the Cilento family uncovered the documents earlier this week, and the Cilento family say the files prove that public opinion had little to do with changing the hospital’s name.

“The Queensland Government had clearly made this decision before the consultation process even began. Is Queensland a democracy or a Banana Republic where the government does what it likes and runs over the public?

“This evidence makes a mockery of the polling and focus groups, and shows that they were nothing but a waste of taxpayers’ time and money in an attempt to justify tearing down a pioneering Australian woman's name from a public building, one of only 3 percent in this country.

“The aim of the entire process was to try to justify the decision after it had been made, rather than to legitimately consider the thoughts and opinions of Queenslanders,” said Giovanna Volpe-Cilento, the granddaughter of Lady Phyllis Cilento.

The Cilento family’s lawyer Michael Williams (Gilbert + Tobin) says it shows active steps were taken by the Queensland Government in breach of the agreement with the Cilento family to permit Lady Cilento’s name to be used on the hospital.

“There is no legitimate explanation for the cancellation of the business name at that time. It suggests that the Government jumped the gun and then tried to backfill the reasons for the change of name, a process which took months to complete. It also throws into doubt the legality of the hospital trading under its current name since the beginning of this year”

Documents in the possession of the Cilento family also bring into question claims by Queensland Health that all work required to change the hospital’s name would cost approximately $500,000.

These documents show that erecting the Lady Cilento sign on the hospital building in 2014 required the closure of Raymond Terrace for three days, six traffic controllers, a crane, two crane operators, three riggers, a swinging stage, spider boom and nine semi-trailers and drivers.

The cost to hire a crane alone is $200,000 per day.

Giovanna Volpe-Cilento says that as well as proving the Queensland Government’s claims about the reason for the name change are false, the documents prove that Queensland Health’s cost estimates are wildly inaccurate.

“The cost of just the crane hire for three days dramatically exceeds Queensland Health’s estimate for the cost of the entire job – not to mention the hire and labour costs for operating all of the other equipment.

“At best, this shows that Queensland Health has been highly irresponsible in their research. At worst, this proves that the Queensland Government has made another attempt to mislead the public.

“Not only has the Queensland Government misled the Cilento family - who have to fight to prevent their mother and grandmother’s name being torn down – but, also, every Queenslander who was under the impression this government would take their opinions into consideration before making a decision of this magnitude.”