Res­i­dents rally for hos­pi­tal

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Front Page - Tari Jef­fers

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.

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