Pol­lies unite against health cam­pus plans

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

WA Coun­try Health Ser­vices’ Kar­ratha Health Cam­pus plans are un­der siege, with both sides of pol­i­tics join­ing a May­oral call for State in­ter­ven­tion.

Last week, City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long re­vealed a list of se­ri­ous con­cerns held against the amenity and ac­ces­si­bil­ity of the cur­rent de­sign, as well as an al­leged lack of con­sul­ta­tion.

Mr Long said the City had been try­ing to come to an agree­ment be­hind the scenes, but with WACHS “stonewalling” con­ver­sa­tions, felt it had nowhere left to turn other than pub­lic pres­sure.

“They think it’s ap­pro­pri­ate to have a carpark on all four sides and they’re just not talk­ing to us,” he said.

“It does de­tract from the work done in the City cen­tre and it seems such a pity when it’s Roy­al­ties for Re­gions money.

“If our pro­pos­als were lis­tened to at the start, they would have wasted less pub­lic money.”

Mr Long also crit­i­cised the site’s height, say­ing WACHS had built it up well above what the City be­lieved nec­es­sary.

WACHS re­gional di­rec­tor Ron Wynn said the Kar­ratha Health Cam­pus was sub­ject to the State’s best qual­ity de­sign and con­struc­tion pro­cesses.

“The City of Kar­ratha was in­vited onto the Kar­ratha Health Cam­pus Project Work­ing Group in late 2013, the first time an ex­ter­nal or­gan­i­sa­tion has been in­vited to work so closely on a health cam­pus de­sign,” he said.

“Some mod­i­fi­ca­tions have been in­cor­po­rated based on coun­cil feed­back and it is ex­pected that when the project moves to the de­tailed de­sign stage, other is­sues will be dis­cussed and in- cor­po­rated.” Na­tion­als MLA Bren­don Grylls and La­bor MLC Stephen Daw­son have both backed the City’s po­si­tion.

Mr Grylls said with pub­lic funds sunk into the project, the City had ev­ery right to ex­pect more than “just a hos­pi­tal”.

“I understand it is a bit dif­fi­cult for health be­cause nor­mally they just have to build a hos­pi­tal, but we want more than that,” he said.

Mr Daw­son said Health Min­is­ter Kim Hames must over­rule his bu­reau­cracy.

“The State Gov­ern­ment made a prom­ise that a new fa­cil­ity will be built and fi­nally it’s hap­pen­ing,” he said.

“Why would they risk squan­der­ing the good­will in the com­mu­nity by dis­re­gard­ing the views of the coun­cil?”

Dr Hames de­clined to com­ment.

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