$2.5 million dispute goes online

RED Rock-based businessman Phil Clare is holding a gun to the head of NSW Health in his effort to recoup $2.5 million.

In the latest battle with health bureaucrats, Mr Clare is taking the fight to the internet by setting up a new blog site called haveyoubeenpaidyet.com.au.

“Haveyoubeenpaidyet.com.au is a blog where contractors who are having trouble getting money from the State Government can have their say,” Mr Clare said.

“From what I’ve been told this site could become the WikiLeaks of NSW Health.”

Mr Clare said since he sent out the latest round of invoices to the eight area health services and a ninth straight to NSW Health, he had heard staff were receiving warnings from their superiors to avoid contact with Intheshed.

“Last time we were bullied and threatened that they would bury us in legal issues. They certainly followed up on that,” he said.

“This time there’s not going to be any Mr Nice Guy.

“The stuff that will appear on haveyoubeenpaidyet.com.au is going to reveal all the waste and non-compliance issues in the NSW Health Service.”

Mr Clare said the site was ready to launch, but he would hold off if the health service paid up.

“I don’t want to be a whistleblower, I just want my money,” he said.

Last year Mr Clare’s company, Intheshed Asset Management, became embroiled in a contractual dispute with Northern Sydney and Central Coast Area Health Service over payment of $1.7 million for work mainly at Royal North Shore and Manly hospitals.

Because of a payment agreement with the health service Mr Clare cannot reveal details of the outcome.

“It virtually meant (the health service) gave itself a 70% discount,” he said.

The embattled businessman has been forced to lay off his six staff because of the dispute and is now worried he could be black-listed around the State.

NSW Member for Clarence, Steve Cansdell, who went into bat for the Mr Clare’s business during the first round of his dispute, praised the initiative of setting up the website.

“It puts pressure on health to pay his invoices,” Mr Cansdell said. “The last time I spoke to (NSW Health Minister) Carmel Tebbutt about this, she said she would look into the invoices and fast track the process.

“This time it’s up to me to get in contact with her office and find out what’s going on.

“We want a result, not a headline.”

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