The McGowan Government has again baulked at the chance to provide a timeline for when Laverton can expect upgrades to the town’s hospital, despite the Health Minister admitting the facility is “sub-par”.
Leader Mia Davies used Question Time this week to quiz the Health Minister when Labor would deliver on its pre-election promise to spend $19.5 million on an upgrade of Laverton Hospital.
“The Minister danced around the question, trying to blame the previous Government for his own broken promise,” Ms Davies said.
“The reality is the McGowan Government has made a choice to break this important promise to the Goldfields community, instead preferring to use the money earmarked for Laverton to fund Perth projects such as the Ocean Reef Marina and a new railway line to Yanchep.
“Labor’s regional MPs ought to be embarrassed by the Government’s deliberate snub of Laverton and the Goldfields at large.”
Under questioning from Ms Davies, Health Minister Roger Cook said the Laverton Hospital was “sub-par” and that the upgrade “is a priority”.
“I understand that we have an obligation to that community to make sure it has a hospital that it can be proud of,” Mr Cook said.
Yet Nationals Deputy Leader and Member for Mining and Pastoral Jacqui Boydell questioned whether the Minister understood the obligation at all.
“Despite the dedication and hard work of the fantastic staff at Laverton Hospital, the facility is generally regarded as the most dilapidated in Western Australia,” Ms Boydell said.
“For Labor to continually shirk its responsibility is insulting. This was an election commitment that they have totally abandoned for the sake of keeping a few extra dollars for their Perth seats.”
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.
Ms Boydell 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 still has no funding allocated,” she said.
“It’s just another example of this mean-spirited Labor Government prioritising the city over the regions.”