THE opening of the new Perth Children’s Hospital could be delayed until February 2017, Health Minister John Day admitted today .
The State Government had set August 4 as the “practical completion date” for the project; the date principal builder John Holland hands over the hospital to the Health Department to begin the process of commissioning for use.
Today the Minister said this would not be happening for a range of reasons.
Mr Day said the paramount consideration was putting off the official opening of the hospital until it was safe to admit patients.
He said it was possible “full activities at the New Children’s Hospital could be in the new year, more likely in February”.
Health Department director general David Russell-Weisz said: “We are waiting for further information from John Holland… What is important is when we get full access – we need the run of the hospital.”
“We want to make sure all of the asbestos roof panels are completely re-mediated.”
A 12-week period is needed after practical completion to get the hospital ready to admit patients.
With the awkward Christmas-New Year period, this could push the official opening to February.
Mr Day said John Holland could face consequences for delays, noting there is provision in the contract for liquidated damages, adding that while the asbestos issue was a major problem it was not the only reason the project had been delayed.
Richard Mann from Treasury said any damages would be determined by the cost the delays cause the state government.