Residents rally for hospital
MENTAL health, drug rehabilitation and aged care are just some of the sectors that could benefit by saving the Warren District Hospital, according to concerned community members.
About 70 people stormed Manjimup’s Coronation Park on Saturday morning for the movement’s first rally to keep the hospital’s buildings once the new hospital is completed. Speakers on the day included Mary Nixon, Killy Moltoni, Jill Woollams, Dr John Davies and Manjimup shire president Paul Omodei.
Mr Moltoni said it was “great” the region was getting a new hospital but the original facility could be used for so much.
“Let’s keep the place going for a while and then we’ll see,” he said.
“Give the doctors and nurses a chance to get in there and get the place up and running and then see whether there’s a need for anything else the community wants.”
Attending as a concerned citizen, Mr Omodei said there were better possible uses for the facility, like a respite centre, an aged care facility or crisis centre for families.
“We all need to step up and speak to the people we know,” he said.
“We want common sense to prevail and not precipitously knock it down because it was in the contract.”
Mrs Woollams suggested the hospital be used as a mental health facility or to address the region’s drug issues. “What happens to Bunbury and Perth resources when we send people in need away, why not be our SuperTown?” she said.
“Why not say we can offer great mental health care here and provide more employment for nurses?”
Last year, concerned residents raised an issue with knocking down the hospital with initial efforts including a petition, and in December the Manjimup Shire Council voted to lobby the State Government to retain the facility.
The movement has since gained traction through further awareness of the petition, a meeting and Saturday’s rally.
The next stage of the process will be a letter-writing campaign to politicians. This will kick off today at the Manjimup CRC from 9am for people wanting direction in how to write a letter.