Men­tal health fa­cil­ity fears aired

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

Kar­ratha com­mu­nity mem­bers aired wide-rang­ing con­cerns about the lo­ca­tion of the State Govern­ment’s pro­posed men­tal health Step-up, Step-down fa­cil­ity in Mil­lars Well at a fo­rum with the Men­tal Health Com­mis­sion last Mon­day night.

A site on Gawthorne Drive across the road from the RSL, and close to Mil­lars Well Pri­mary School, has been ear­marked for the six-bed fa­cil­ity.

Con­struc­tion is due to be fin­ished in mid-2019, with ser­vice pro­vi­sion to be­gin later that year.

Pil­bara MLA Kevin Michel tabled a pe­ti­tion in Par­lia­ment and met with Men­tal Health Min­is­ter Roger Cook’s of­fice to dis­cuss the is­sue re­cently.

“We are happy to have a fa­cil­ity in Kar­ratha, it is just the lo­ca­tion that is a big is­sue with the con­stituents,” he said.

“I have had a lot of feed­back from peo­ple say­ing there has not been enough di­a­logue, which I have raised with the com­mis­sioner.”

Mr Michel said avail­abil­ity of crown land, how much work had al­ready been done on the cur­rent site, and the bud­get all had to be taken into ac­count. Two rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the com­mis­sion flew into Kar­ratha re­cently to dis­cuss the fa­cil­ity and bring the com­mu­nity’s con­cerns back to Perth.

Con­cerns raised in­cluded the safety of those us­ing the fa­cil­ity, the safety of chil­dren nearby, the im­pact on nearby li­censed venues, lack of pub­lic trans­port and lack of con­sul­ta­tion.

A com­mis­sion spokesman told the fo­rum it did hold some con­cerns, but ul­ti­mately the fi­nal de­ci­sion was in the hands of Mr Cook.

Jack Heales, who started a pe­ti­tion to move the fa­cil­ity, said the meet­ing was a pos­i­tive step.

At the meet­ing, an al­ter­na­tive site at the old Jas­mine Chinese Restau­rant across the road from the new health cam­pus was put for­ward.

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