Hospital cure for economy

Tom ZaunmayrPilbara News
Pilbara MLA Brendon Grylls, WA Treasury's Adrian Duca, City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long and WACHS regional director Ron Wynn.
Camera IconPilbara MLA Brendon Grylls, WA Treasury's Adrian Duca, City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long and WACHS regional director Ron Wynn. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr.

The construction firm behind the $207 million Karratha Health Campus has promised a largely residential workforce as it prepares to ramp up activity on-site.

To date, 72 per cent of the 67-strong workforce has been local, with $16 million worth of contracts awarded to Karratha and Port Hedland businesses.

Multiplex Construction project manager Hudson Lun said the administrative workforce for the project had all been either sourced from or moved to Karratha for the duration of the project.

Mr Lun said the residential model adopted had been preferable over using a fly-in, fly-out workforce.

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“Right now with the work we have done to date, 100 per cent of the work has been given to Australian-based companies with a West Australian base,” he said.

“To date we have used over 45 local Karratha businesses and contractors.

“Moving forward, of course there are some specialist services you need for a hospital that unfortunately there won’t be someone in town to do that so we will have to subcontract that out.”

Mr Lun said with stage two of works awarded, Multiplex could move on with indigenous engagement and apprenticeship and traineeship contracts, as well as letting out the rest of the work.

WA Treasury strategic projects and asset sales director Adrian Duca said the State was keeping a close eye on the contracts.

“(Multiplex) has demonstrated that they are looking at real opportunities to employ local Karratha people,” he said.

“As part of the State process we request from Multiplex on a regular basis a breakdown of those subcontract engagements.”

Mr Duca said some parking around the Balmoral and Warambie roads side of the site had been removed after concerns from the council.

He said the helipad location, another bone of contention for the City of Karratha, would not be changed because it was necessary for offshore emergencies.

Pilbara MLA Brendon Grylls said the project team had to make sure subcontractors understood the local workforce priorities as well.

“I like the list of local businesses on the wall behind us,” he said.

“I look forward to seeing the local workforce down at the Tambrey for a beer after work because that is all part of being part of the local community,” he said.

Health Minister John Day said 1300 jobs would be supported over the life of the building project.

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