The McGowan Government is still refusing to fund an upgrade of Laverton Hospital despite the Health Minister labelling the facility “substandard” this week.
The hospital had previously been allocated $20 million of Royalties for Regions funding but that was cut by Labor in last year’s Budget and has not been reinstated.
The Nationals WA Leader Mia Davies said the Shire of Laverton returned $4 million of Royalties for Regions funding from their community hub project on the premise this money would be used to fund the Laverton Hospital.
“Despite those assurances, the Laverton Hospital did not receive funding in this year’s budget,” Ms Davies said.
Under questioning from The Nationals in Parliament this week, the Premier confirmed the $4 million would be quarantined until the remaining funds could be found.
Ms Davies said she was disappointed the money was cut in the first place and called on the Government to provide certainty to the community and immediately allocate funding for the hospital upgrade.
“Obviously we are frustrated the McGowan Government made the decision to cut the $20 million that was set aside by The Nationals in Government to fund the hospital,” she said.
“We have confirmed that $4 million has been quarantined but there is no commitment in the Budget as to where the additional $16 million will be found. With Labor having almost exhausted all Royalties for Regions for the next four years it doesn’t look good for the Laverton community.
“Given the Health Minister himself described the hospital as “substandard” in Parliament perhaps some of the $188.9 million of Commonwealth funding which was recently allocated to three metropolitan hospitals could be diverted to fix it up.”
The Nationals WA health spokesperson Martin Aldridge MLC called on the Health Minister to honour his commitment to upgrade the hospital.
“The Minister stated there will certainly be upgrades to the hospital. We will be holding him to that,” he said. “Until there is funding allocated it is just lip-service and empty promises.”
“We have an undertaking that planning work will be completed within a couple of months and the Health Minister is on notice that we are watching to make sure this timeline is met.”