Pollies unite against health campus plans
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.