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