The Victorian government has denied accusations from federal Health Minister Greg Hunt that it is the reason for delays to a new mental health rehabilitation unit at Albury-Wodonga Health, saying there has been no discussion about the project.
Indi MP Helen Haines asked for an explanation from Mr Hunt in federal question time last week.
Mr Hunt said the timing had been discussed with AWH's chief executive, but the board chair Nicki Melville told The Border Mail the funding delay until the 2024 financial year was "daft", as the rehabilitation unit was ready to be built as soon as the $12 million was provided.
"I am aware that part of the challenge here is that, whilst we are delivering on exactly the timeframe that was part of the master plan, the state may not be able to deliver and therefore, as a consequence, their new CEO is under pressure to renegotiate that which was agreed," Mr Hunt said.
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"I will accordingly be writing to the Victorian Minister for Health to seek an assurance that the Victorian government will deliver their part of the master plan - which they have yet to complete - on time, in full, which will then allow us to deliver, on time, in full.
"If they are able to bring forward their plans, then we will be able to bring forward the plans.
"They are currently on track, however, to delay their plans, but we will continue, on exactly the timeframe we agreed."
An expansion of Albury's emergency department has been identified as the state government's most pressing infrastructure priority for AWH.
It will not allocate any funding for mental health facilities until it receives findings from the Mental Health Royal Commission, which are due in October 2020.
The Victorian government claimed it has not been given details from the Commonwealth about its plans for the mental health rehabilitation unit at Wodonga hospital, but was working on the information that all the federal funding would not come through until 2024-25.
"We're happy to work with the Commonwealth on this important project but, to date, we've had no word from Canberra on their plans for the project or when it will be delivered," a spokeswoman for Acting Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said.