Govt offers $20m to settle hospital dispute: report

11/02/2019 - 11:49

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The Western Australian government has reportedly offered contractor John Holland $20 million to settle the long-running dispute over the Perth Children's Hospital.

Govt offers $20m to settle hospital dispute: report
John Holland was penalised $42.5 million for delays to the project.

The Western Australian government has reportedly offered John Holland $20 million to settle the long-running dispute over the Perth Children's Hospital.

According to a report from 6PR morning show host Gareth Parker, the government offered the contractor $20 million, which John Holland rejected.

The $1.2 billion hospital opened in May last year, about three years later than expected, following issues including high lead-levels in drinking water and asbestos in ceiling panels.

John Holland and the state government have each previously claimed they are owed money over the delayed project by the other party.

In September 2017, acting state solicitor Nick Egan told a parliamentary inquiry there was a liquidated damages clause for the project.

Mr Egan said that, in the event that practical completion of the hospital was not achieved by a certain date, the contractor would be penalised $180, 000 per day, up to a total of $42.5 million.

He said the total had been reached.

In response to questions about the report, Treasurer Ben Wyatt did not to confirm the $20 million offer, but accused the company of using a litigation tactic of leaking information to the media in order to weaken the government's position during negotiations.

"What I've found with John Holland (is) they have a well-used tactic with selective media leaks to try to get the state to somehow compromise its position, we won't be doing that," Mr Wyatt said.

"My preferred outcome is a negotiated position and that appears to be more and more unlikely, but I'm not going to participate in this sort of selective media leaking around what may be a long and protracted litigation.

“This is not the way professional organisations should be negotiating what is a sensitive and incredibly complicated dispute."


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