Wednesday was supposed to mark practical completion of Perth’s new $1.2 billion children’s hospital after which the West Australian government would take control.

That will not happen, marking another delay for the troubled project being built by giant company John Holland and deputy premier Liza Harvey said the WA government’s patience was wearing very thin.

The original completion date was more than a year ago in late 2015 and since then lead-tainted water and asbestos-contaminated ceiling panels have been discovered amid other faults and delays.

Ms Harvey said the government wanted the hospital open before the March election but denied that was to ensure Labor leader Mark McGowan’s name was not on a plaque to open it if he won the vote.

“I would like to see it open in the very near future, which I have put to the contractor to get the job done to the standard we expect,” she told reporters.

“We want our children and staff from PMH (current children’s hospital) to be operating out of the new facility. We wanted that a while ago. We’ve been very patient but our patience is wearing very thin.

“Unfortunately a whole range of issues have occurred along the way, internal problems within the company that had the contract.

“It is not in the interests of John Holland and others involved in the construction of the children’s hospital to have this go on … it is bad for them and bad for the government and we accept that.”

Mr McGowan said the government should not rush to open the hospital before the election for political reasons when safety and health of the children who would be patients there should be a top priority.

  • Patience is hardly the issue!This saga is beyond believable – but in building it is the NORM! Some would ask the reasons. However, for those of us who have followed the 'news' released on this hospital (and all the other hospitals being 'built' across Australia in recent years), there is no doubt as to the causes. All come down to a total lack of regulatory compliance and nil enforcement – in official business/bureau speak this is styled 'light touch regulation' – in ordinary people's speak it's known as 'no touch regulation'.
    Who is picking up the tab for the myriad of blunders with this 'Children's' Hospital? We have had the extraordinary, ongoing use of non-compliant materials and the questionable work in relation to this Perth hospital. I am aware of the lead scandal, this after the discovery in July of asbestos on the site, and then the unlicensed electricians installing the fire detection and control systems! Is the taxpayer being stung for more money?

    Far more importantly, what about the 20 workers exposed to asbestos? What about their futures and how many lives will ultimately be lost, painfully and prematurely? And what about their families who may also have been exposed? As if not bad enough, the JH 'solution' was to do a patch up repair instead of replacement of panels. Then incredibly, the WA Building Commission announced JH not to blame! This story alone simply beggars belief!
    The moral of the story is clear. Building products, methods and 'laws' are irrelevant for the big players. All reprobates are protected; no penalties for breaking the 'law' or harming workers! People's lives and their families' lives are not on the radar. The stark reality is money counts, and ordinary Australians don't count!

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