EXCLUSIVE: Kiosk volunteers renew criticism

Mount Druitt Hospital kiosk volunteers first raised concerns about bureaucrats taking control of the kiosk’s finances in September. Picture: Gary Warrick.MOUNT Druitt Hospital kiosk volunteers have repeated calls for the returned control of kiosk finances, amid claims suppliers aren’t being paid on time.

Co-ordinator Margaret Thurlow said their local contractor hasn’t paid been on time after hospital management recently changed suppliers to British-based WHSmith.

Mrs Thurlow claimed the contractor was waiting up to six weeks to be paid because the invoice had to be verified in England.

“We had a meeting with bureaucrats just before Christmas, where we were told it had nothing to do with us,” Mrs Thurlow said.

“I see no sense in their decisions. They can’t be saving money. It’s very difficult for us because we’re the ones who have to face the contractors. We want to know why finances are being paid overseas.”

Fellow volunteer Pat Moir added: “They need to go back to the tried-and-tested system where we looked after the kiosk’s finances.

The Star first reported on the matter in September, when then general manager Andrew Newton said there were “fewer than 10” payment delays at the kiosk in the last year due to unexpected and minor administrative corrections.

Volunteers hope to meet with new hospital manager Sue-Anne Redmond to discuss concerns.

Ms Redmond confirmed the new newspaper supplier as WHSmith and that the decision was made to move to an electronic payment arrangement, which won’t affect the kiosk’s finances. Payments were being handled by a supplier at Mascot.

“Financial decision-making continues to be a part of the volunteers’ role,” Ms Redmond said.

“The dedication of our volunteers is an inspiration for all of us. We work closely with our volunteers to improve and streamline processes where we can.”

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