The site of Rockhampton Hospital’s multi-million dollar redevelopment yesterday afternoon.
The site of Rockhampton Hospital’s multi-million dollar redevelopment yesterday afternoon. ALLAN REINIKKA

Work stalls on Rocky Hospital

MAJOR infrastructure work as part of Rockhampton Hospital’s $140 million redevelopment has stalled.

Yesterday a number of construction and health industry sources told The Morning Bulletin there had been no major work at the site for about six weeks.

But Queensland Health denied work had “stalled”, instead saying parts of the redevelopment’s first stage had been “rescheduled” so they could be integrated into the new ward block as part of stage two.

It’s understood the acceleration of the redevelopment, in line with $76 million in extra funding from the Federal Government; led to plans for stage two conflicting with those for stage one.

As a result works had to be halted while issues with both plans were resolved.

Queensland Health said there had been no funding shortfall and that work on the site was continuing “on schedule”.

A spokesperson said no workers had been stood down during the “delay”.

They said workers had continued on “other aspects” of the project and all onsite construction staff had worked continuously throughout the process.

While principal contractor JM Kelly could not comment yesterday, Shadow Health Minister Mark McArdle said he wouldn’t be surprised if there were delays that would blow out costs by millions of dollars.

Mr McArdle said Queensland Health had a reputation for starting construction projects without having proper planning procedures in place.

He said this often meant “delays in construction and cost blow-outs”.

Queensland Health said the majority of the rescheduling had now been documented and released to the contractor.

A spokesperson said that last week there were 51 contractors onsite each day.

It said construction work included joinery being installed in the new transit lounge, forming up level three of the lift shaft to tie into the medical services building, external wall cladding to the northern end of the new emergency department, and preparation for the ground floor internal emergency department slab.

The new Emergency Department is expected to be opened in June 2010.



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