At break­fast meet with min­is­ters City men­tal health fa­cil­ity may have 10 beds: Mor­ton

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS - Clare Kenyon

high on the Gov­ern­ment’s agenda, point­ing in­stead to a fund­ing com­mit­ment for Great Eastern High­way pledged be­fore the 2013 elec­tion. “What I’ve learnt as trans­port min­is­ter is I can’t be ev­ery­body’s friend at the same time, as much as I’d like to be,” he said.

“There are a lot of projects out there, so it will go into the mix and is a mat­ter of us pri­ori­tis­ing it.”

Other is­sues in­cluded pro­tec­tion for the Great Western Woodlands and con­tin­ued is­sues with the Roy­al­ties for Re­gions process. Men­tal Health Min­is­ter He­len Mor­ton has un­veiled the pre­ferred lo­ca­tion for the Gold­fields step-up, step-down fa­cil­ity in South Kal­go­or­lie, while also flag­ging the sixbed unit could be ex­panded to house 10 beds.

The choice of the David­son Street site, op­po­site Amana Liv­ing, brings an end to a con­sid­er­able pe­riod of un­cer­tainty for the fa­cil­ity which has long been ad­vo­cated for by lo­cal men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als.

While the fa­cil­ity could have been lo­cated in ei­ther Kal­go­or­lieBoul­der or Esper­ance, Ms Mor­ton said the pres­ence of key sup­port fa­cil­i­ties at Kal­go­or­lie Hos­pi­tal made the city the log­i­cal choice for the re­gion’s ded­i­cated unit.

“It is ac­tu­ally more ef­fi­cient for the unit to run as 10 beds, but it comes down to fund­ing,” Ms Mor­ton told the Kal­go­or­lie Miner.

“The fa­cil­ity is prob­a­bly go­ing to be run by a non-gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion and we will put that out to ten­der next year.”

The ten­der process for con­struc­tion is ex­pected to be­gin later this year, with an op­er­a­tional tar­get of 2017.

It is es­ti­mated the fa­cil­ity will cost $1.3 mil­lion to build, with fund­ing com­ing from un­der bud­get con­struc­tion of two sub­a­cute fa­cil­i­ties in the metropoli­tan area.

Ms Mor­ton said op­er­a­tional costs of $1.281 mil­lion were set aside in the 2014/15 State Bud­get.

“The need for these fa­cil­i­ties came through loud and clear be­cause peo­ple were be­ing told they were not sick enough to go to hos­pi­tal,” she said.

“So this is mak­ing sure there is a place where peo­ple can get sup­port straight away, get bet­ter and go home.”

Eyre MLA Graham Ja­cobs, who has been ad­vo­cat­ing for the site to be in Esper­ance, said while he was dis­ap­pointed, the fa­cil­ity would be well placed be­tween Kal­go­or­lie and Boul­der.

“This is a good start … and ob­vi­ously Esper­ance peo­ple can use this fa­cil­ity as they tran­si­tion back there,” Dr Ja­cobs said.

“We have the op­er­a­tional fund­ing for the unit in Esper­ance. We just need to find the cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture and we will be work­ing on that in the fu­ture.”

Kal­go­or­lie MLA Wendy Dun­can said she was “ab­so­lutely de­lighted” and thanked the min­is­ter for lis­ten­ing to the lo­cal peo­ple.

‘This will help peo­ple to get back into the com­mu­nity af­ter they spent some time in hos­pi­tal, or hope­fully pre­vent peo­ple from need­ing to go into hos­pi­tal in the first place,” she said.

“Hope­fully, who­ever gets the ten­der will be lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion ob­vi­ously that is based on what is put be­fore the min­is­ter.”

Ms Mor­ton has now in­vited the com­mu­nity to pro­vide feed­back on the David­son Street lo­ca­tion.

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