Peel Health Campus overlooked in WA’s GST cash top-up

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: AAP.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: AAP.

The Turnbull Government has left the Peel region out of $189 million in new WA hospital funding, but says the decision to expand the Joondalup Health Campus instead of Mandurah’s Peel Health Campus was made “entirely on advice from the West Australian state government”.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the budget cash in Perth on Thursday morning, which was intended as a top-up to WA’s share of the GST.

About $158 million will go to the Joondalup Health Campus upgrade, $10.6 million to an Osborne Park Hospital expansion and $20.3 million for the refurbishment of Royal Perth Hospital, including the construction of a medihotel.

Mr Turnbull said the Joondalup Health Campus would have 90 new public beds, 75 new mental health beds, a new stroke unit, three new cardiac catheter laboratories, and a new 25 bed coronary care unit.

But he said the call on where to funnel the money was “based on discussions with the WA state government”.

Federal Finance Minister Mathias Cormann made the announcement in Joondalup on Thursday with WA Health Minister Roger Cook. Photo: Hamish Hastie.

Federal Finance Minister Mathias Cormann made the announcement in Joondalup on Thursday with WA Health Minister Roger Cook. Photo: Hamish Hastie.

A spokeswoman for Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the “decision to provide additional Commonwealth investment to Joondalup Health Campus, Osborne Park Hospital and Royal Perth Hospital was entirely based on the advice from the West Australian state government”.

“In the conversations with the state government over the last few months, these are the areas of highest need that they have identified with us,” she said.

A spokeswoman for WA Health Minister Roger Cook did not explain why an expansion of Joondalup’s hospital was a higher priority for the state government than for the Peel Health Campus.

“The federal government’s decision to make a significant commitment towards WA’s health facilities is something we welcome,” she said.

“We are pleased to secure this funding which recognises that WA isn’t getting its fair share and will help the State deliver our election commitments to some major health facilities.

“While this is a win for the State Government, it is not the end of a fight for a fair share from Canberra.

“South Metropolitan Health Service with the Department of Health is currently undertaking an analysis of the service demand and usage for the Peel region to determine how we best serve future health needs of the area and as such any changes determined will be included as part of this process.”

Funding for the Peel Health Campus has been the focus of a community campaign in recent months.

Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup, who has arranged a community rally for more Peel health resources on May 1, slammed the state government for leaving the Peel of their priority list.

“Roger Cook and this state government have today shown just how little they care about Mandurah, because if they did they would have recommended that our hospital gets funding from the federal government’s GST top up,” he said.

“The people of Mandurah have every right to be angry with this state government who has continued to ignore us and then their back on us at every turn.”

The spokeswoman for Senator Cormann said further announcements on federal infrastructure investments in the Mandurah region would be made shortly.

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