The American motivational speaker Denis Waitley once said "losers make promises they often break, winners make commitments they always keep".
So how will the state government be known after this week's revelation a key plank in the Warrnambool Base Hospital redevelopment could be cut because of a lack of cash?
The state government won high praise from our community and this masthead when it announced a $384m commitment in 2020 to redevelop the city's hospital. The cash would cover a massive overhaul: a new laundry and logistics hub in the city's industrial estate, which would clear the way for a multi-storey clinical tower that would house a dialysis suite, six full-size operating theatres, 22 new inpatient beds a new emergency department, and a 120-space underground car park.
When finished, it would be a game-changer.
We even asked specifically whether rising building costs would impact the project's budget.
Now we have learnt the 120-space underground car park could be cut from the project because the government has discovered building costs have risen. Anyone who has renovated their kitchen, bathroom or added a deck in the past three years could have told the government that.
Even this week the government doubled down on its pledge the project would be delivered in full, within budget. Based on the government's own valuer-general's advice, costs have risen way more than expected in the past two years, and we've estimated the government could be more than $50m short.
The government is weighing up two options, cut the car park or find the money.
It presumably can't find the money because it's out of cash. South West Coast MP Roma Britnell noted in parliament this week the government had upped budgets for every other current major health project because of the rising costs, so what about Warrnambool?
Conversely, cutting the car park would be a disaster.
The residential streets around the hospital are already chock full of cars. Residents have been complaining for years they can't enter/access their own properties, rubbish collections are impacted when cars park on nature strips and traffic management needs an overhaul.
Since the redevelopment plan was developed three or so years ago, the number of hospital staff has leapt, 200 in the past financial year. And when the new clinical tower is built (and an existing underground car park is largely lost), there will be even more workers, patients and visitors.
The government says 400 parking spots will be created during and after the redevelopment but it declined to answer where and whether that's 400 extra spots on what are available now.
Patients, visitors often can't walk long distances, often uphill and in inclement weather, to get to the hospital, they need on-site spaces. If the new underground car park is not built, essentially there would be no onsite car parking, punishing our sick and most vulnerable patients.
The government made a commitment to the project, it has no choice but to honour it, including the underground car park. Otherwise it will lose significant credibility.