The contract to build a 56-bed residential aged care facility in South Hedland has been awarded to Jaxon Construction.
Premier Geoff Gallop said Jaxon Construction had submitted a bid of $13.84million to build the single-storey project to be known as Karlarra House on a greenfield site in Hamilton Street, South Hedland.
Dr Gallop said Karlarra House was the first of two stages in the construction of the proposed $79million development of the South Hedland Health Campus.
The second stage will be the development of a new $65million hospital in South Hedland.
The Premier said ‘Karlarra’ was a word from the language of the Kariyarra people, the traditional Aboriginal landowners of the area, which meant ‘all skin groups’.
“Current aged care residents, staff and local community members chose the name because it was a true reflection on the diversity of residents who will call the facility their home,” he said.
Health Minister Jim McGinty said the new facility would replace the State-owned and managed 30-bed Yulanya Nursing Home near the Port Hedland Regional Hospital and the 12-bed Mirtanya Maya operated by the Town of Port Hedland in Brearley Street.
“The new facility will be purpose-built and incorporate both high and low-care places, allowing residents to enjoy living in a home-like setting,” Mr McGinty said.
“The design of the facility provides residents with greater privacy and comfort by offering single and twin rooms.
“The facility will include the latest recreational facilities so residents can meet socially as a group and enjoy the new facilities.”
Housing and Works Minister Francis Logan said the 46-week construction period would begin next week (June 20), with the facility expected to be operational by June next year.
“It presents an opportunity to set a design precedent for the remainder of the campus,” Mr Logan said.
“The design and selection of materials have been chosen to create an ambience of home life.
“It will also cater for the anticipated increase in residents’ frailty levels and will incorporate appropriate design principles to meet the needs of dementia patients, yet it will have the flexibility to meet differing needs of individuals.”
Dr Gallop said the State Government had recognised that the current hospital in Port Hedland did not meet community expectations and that the town faced difficulties in attracting and retaining clinical staff and other health professionals.
“That is why we brought forward in this year’s Budget the $5.5million for the design planning of the new $65million hospital - we want the new hospital to be substantially completed during this term of Government,” he said.
“We are also contributing $2.5million towards the upgrades of the emergency department and theatres so that the old Port Hedland Hospital remains in a serviceable condition until then.
“We are also spending $1.5million on building new houses in Hedland to accommodate medical staff.”
Over the last two years, the Government has employed an additional seven medical staff in the Pilbara-Gascoyne region, including a paediatrician, a general surgeon and five district medical officers.
Premier's office: 9222 9475