01/11/2016 - 15:03

Old Port Hedland hospital to be demolished

01/11/2016 - 15:03

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The state government has been forced to make a special budget allocation of $9.74 million to demolish the old Port Hedland hospital, 18 months after announcing a deal to sell the site to apartment developer Finbar Group.

Old Port Hedland hospital to be demolished
Finbar Group has development approval to build its Anchorage apartment complex on the site where the old Port Hedland hospital lies.

The state government has been forced to make a special budget allocation of $9.74 million to demolish the old Port Hedland hospital, 18 months after announcing a deal to sell the site to apartment developer Finbar Group.

Lands Minister Terry Redman said today the state government had made a special allocation of funding to demolish the former hospital, after a fire broke out in the empty facility in September, destroying a section of the building.

The future of the site remains unclear.

Finbar received development approval to build a $390 million complex comprising 507 residential apartments and 163 short-stay lots, and had entered into a deal to buy the site from the state government in April last year; however the sale was subject to Finbar receiving enough pre-sales.

Finbar is now renegotiating land purchase conditions with the state government.

“The state government considered the issue a matter of urgency and allocated the funding of $9.34 million because we recognise the need to get the area cleaned up as quickly as possible after the fire,” Mr Redman said.

“LandCorp has been managing the site and has worked swiftly to respond to the issue, first engaging environmental consultants and now the services of a demolition contractor.”

Demolition, which has been funded through the state government’s Royalties for Regions program, is likely to begin this month.

Meanwhile, the Town of Port Hedland council has called on the state government to engage with its residents about the exposure to dust on the west end of town, after rejecting recommendations drawn up by the town’s dust management taskforce.

The taskforce was established in 2014 by the state government to review an Environmental Protection Authority report in 2009 that expressed concern about dust and noise levels in Port Hedland generated by iron ore operations in the area.

Town of Port Hedland Council Deputy Mayor Camilo Blanco said after reviewing the taskforce’s report to the state government, it was clear that the recommendations weren’t in the best interests of the community.

“Council has a strategic vision to revitalise the west end precinct of Port Hedland and to transform the precinct and its surrounding areas into the town’s major cultural hub,” he said.

“The recommendations in this report are in complete opposition to our strategic growth plan which was created in 2012 in consultation with the community, industry and government.

“The council (has) decided to reject the dust taskforce’s recommendations and to work with the Department of State Development to revise the recommendations to reflect the need to balance economic growth and community development.”

Mr Blanco said the council had called on the state government to consult with Port Hedland residents before the recommendations were considered by cabinet.

“We understand that this is a complex issue with many factors to consider, including the importance of the mining industry on our local economy,” he said.

“Council respects the need for industry to expand as this drives growth to our local community and the global economy; however we also believe that state government and industry need to work better with the town and its residents and ratepayers to ensure the long-term development of the community we call home.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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