Health centre land deal

By Grace Jones | posted on November 8, 2018

A NEW health centre in Bremer Bay is one step closer to fruition following Jerramungup shire council’s decision to reserve a block of land for the development at no cost to WA Country Health Service (WACHS).

The Council’s unanimous decision to offer the use of the 5000sqm Garnett Road block paves the way for a business case to be presented to the State Government to secure funding.

In council documents presented to the Council’s October 17 meeting, WACHS regional director David Naughton said that having the land donated in-kind was crucial to the development of the new health centre.

“Securing such suitable land at no cost to WACHS is a key part of the project,” he wrote.

Shire CEO Martin Cuthbert said the allocation of the block would allow WACHS to finish their business case to get the ball rolling for a new centre to be built.

The centre is slated to replace the seaside town’s 30-year-old nursing post.

“The existing post is definitely past its use by date and not really suitable to be used anymore,” Mr Cuthbert said.

“There are issues with privacy and the nurse has to play the radio loudly to drown out confidential conversations.”

Mr Cuthbert said developing a new health centre in Bremer Bay was something the locals needed and wanted.

“We’re attempting to expand and develop our health and aged care facilities to keep people in Bremer Bay,” he said.

“There’s a large portion of the town’s population that are retirees and with the existing infrastructure, a lot leave to places like Albany so they can have better access to health professionals.

“We want to keep people around long-term and look after our ageing and youth populations.”

Mr Cuthbert said locating the health centre in Bremer Bay’s developing town centre was part of the bigger picture.

“We want to grow Bremer Bay and with this town centre we’re hoping we can convince people to buy and build in the town,” he said.

“We have the skate park there already, we’ll have a new library, a shire office for our development service staff, the new health centre and six more units for the aged care facility.

“It’s exciting times. The Council has been planning and preparing this for a long time and to see it come to fruition is nice to see.”

A WACHS spokesperson said a business case for the health centre was being developed for consideration in the 2019/20 budget.