Mixed reactions to funding cut

But the State Opposition has labelled it ‘bad news for the people of Joondalup’.

This month’s State Budget revealed funding for the hospital had reduced from $229.8 million to almost $224 million.

With the project expected to be completed over the next year, Health Minister Kim Hames said the Government had over-budgeted for escalation costs.

Escalation costs account for market increases in the cost of labour and materials over the construction period, or the period until a supplier closes a contract.

The cost of the redevelopment, which has been in planning since 2009, did not increase over time as much as the Government had expected.

‘The works are nearing completion well within the original budget,’ Dr Hames said.

‘A significant portion of the additional escalation line item in the original budget has not been required, effectively reducing the budget from $229.8 million to $223.925 million.’

Opposition health spokesman Roger Cook disagreed with the reduction.

‘I’m very concerned that a hospital that caters to such rapid population growth could be considered for a funding cut,’ he said.

‘We need to continue to invest in health services in the suburbs where people actually live.’

A hospital spokesman said significant savings had already been reinvested into extra facilities, such as the special care nursery expansion and antenatal clinics.

He said a decision where the remaining savings were spent rested with the State Government.