Tom Price Hospital stalls on $33m funding shortfall

Tom ZaunmayrPilbara News
North West Central MLA Vince Catania.
Camera IconNorth West Central MLA Vince Catania. Credit: Picture: Tom Zaunmayr, Tom Zaunmayr.

Redevelopment of the Tom Price Hospital will likely be stalled for another year after the State Government failed to find further funding for the $38 million project.

The sum of $5 million earmarked in the 2017-18 State Budget was carried over to the 2018-19 Budget, leaving a $33 million funding shortfall.

North West Central MLA Vince Catania said the Pilbara had been forgotten in last week’s State Budget.

“People in Tom Price in particular need to be angry with the way they are being treated by the Government,” he said.

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“There is nothing in the forward estimates, nothing for Tom Price or Paraburdoo.

“Labor is public enemy No.1 when it comes to regional WA.”

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Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the State Government was in negotiations with mining giant Rio Tinto to assist in funding the facility.

“BHP is contributing $10 million to the Newman Hospital and we are talking to Rio about them looking at doing something similar in Tom Price,” she said.

“We haven’t resolved that yet but we know it has to be done and it will be done.”

Ms MacTiernan said the Tom Price Hospital project was unlikely to go ahead within the next two years.

“Obviously we need to do more work on the scope and funding mechanism for that project,” she said.

“We recognise we will need to put more funding in but that is something we will work on for the next budget.”

While the hospital project remains in limbo, education in Tom Price will receive a boost, with $3 million to go towards expanding school and childcare facilities in the Shire of Ashburton.

Mr Catania said that funding was nothing more than crumbs.

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