Hospital a done deal

Tom Zaunmayr and Peter de KruijffPilbara News
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Construction of the Karratha Health Campus is on track, with Brookfield Multiplex signing on to design and build the $207 million facility.

The company was chosen from a field of six respondents.

It will be the company's first major project in Karratha. Its other work in the Pilbara has included building a second Dampier-to-Bunbury Gas Pipeline and the $200 million Roy Hill mine accommodation village.

A Brookfield Multiplex spokesman did not comment about what local jobs would be created.

A WA Country Health Service spokesman said part of the request for proposals for the project included an evaluation of how respondents addressed the State Government's Buy Local Policy and to what extent they were committed to developing local products, resources and skills.

Karratha and Districts Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive John Lally said the hospital was one of the biggest projects going ahead at the moment alongside the CBD's new project the Quarter.

A new player in town could create opportunities.

"What we would expect, like Doric has done, is there would be a fair bit of residential workers or labour working on the job," he said.

He said local businesses needed to readjust and learn how to quote to such big organisations.

"We're looking in June to run tender workshops on how to deal with government and large companies to try to plug into the food chain," he said.

Infill to raise the future hospital site off the low-lying Karratha flats has been delivered and now the installation of water, power and sewerage is under way.

Site works are expected to be completed by October, with the construction to start after the design phase scheduled to be finished by April next year.

The campus is due to open in 2018.

Health Minister Kim Hames said Brookfield Multiplex was chosen for its experience and reputation in major infrastructure, including previous health sector projects.

Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the campus would provide job opportunities and a chance for the Pilbara to become a self-sufficient region.

Shadow health spokesman Roger Cook said the success of the hospital would come down to adequate staffing and resources.

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