The Queensland government has defended a forecast $154 million overspend on hospital and health construction projects after the opposition attacked it for not being as prudent as home renovators.
Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said spending on 16 projects across the state would total $658.5 million this financial year compared to the $504.6 million forecast, in response to a question on notice in parliament.
Ms D'Ath's spokesperson likened the blowouts to those experienced by "mum and dad renovators" due to the costs of building materials and bad weather.
Acting Premier Steven Miles defended that comparison after it was attacked by the opposition Liberal National Party.
"We have a shortage of builders and a shortage of building supplies, and that is driving up building costs for everyone," he told reporters on Thursday.
"Whether that's people renovating their home, putting a deck on, building a new house, or indeed building a hospital, and so our costs have gone up, but we will invest the funds required to deliver on those programs."
Earlier, Deputy Opposition Leader Jarrod Bleijie took umbrage at the comparison with home renovators, saying the government had a history of budget blowouts.
He said "mum and dad renovators" know how to budget, and are prudent with their spending so projects remain within budget.
"The difference with the Palaszczuk government is they don't care about Queenslanders' money, they don't care about the taxpayers' money, they don't care about the budget blowouts," Mr Bleijie said.
Meanwhile, hundreds of adult elective surgeries are still being deferred or cancelled due to a lack of beds in public hospitals.
There were 1266 deferrals or cancellations in the year to October, compared to 654 before the pandemic began in 2019, according to figures released by the health minister.
That's well below the 1945 in the 2021 calendar year, and Ms D'Ath said the government was working to add more capacity to the system.
"The best way to provide access to elective surgery is to provide more investment in health staff and health facilities - the Palaszczuk government is doing both," she said in a response to a question on notice.