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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 383 asked in the Legislative Council on 16 May 2018 by Hon Jacqui Boydell

Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Answered on 16 May 2018

      383. Hon JACQUI BOYDELL to the Minister for Regional Development:
I refer to an article in the Kalgoorlie Miner of 11 May regarding Laverton Hospital entitled ''Snub of hospital funding 'disgusting'''.
      (1) Did the minister write to the Shire of Laverton requesting it redirect $4 million in funding from its community hub to the hospital upgrade?
      (2) If yes, why did the minister ask the Shire of Laverton to take this action when she has never had any intention of funding the hospital?
      I thank the member for the question.
      (1)–(2) This is not new information. I think there were articles in the Kalgoorlie Miner after our initial meeting with the Shire of Laverton. We recognise that the hospital needs an upgrade and were quite amazed that with all this money that has been spent on royalties for regions, much of it wasted on building giant empty buildings in Exmouth and giant fish tanks with no fish in them, something like the Laverton Hospital has not been built or had a business case approved.
      Roger Cook and I visited the hospital and we could see that it needed to be replaced. We suggested to the shire that the amount of money being poured into its community facilities was excessive and we asked that it consider returning $4 million of that money. That was to become the basis for negotiations with the goldminers to see whether they would do what the iron ore miners were doing and make a contribution to the hospital, seeing as the gold price continues to go up and they pay below average mine head value in royalties. Perhaps they would like to help make a contribution in another way by contributing to the hospital. It does not look like that they are any more willing, unfortunately, to contribute to the hospital than they are to pay a fair share of tax. We continue those discussions, and Roger Cook and I are working through the WA Country Health Service budget to see what capability we might then be able to bring in the out years so that the $4 million could be added to build this facility.