Yeppoon’s new hospital: a row over who pays for damage caused during its construction continues.
Yeppoon’s new hospital: a row over who pays for damage caused during its construction continues. File

Hospital built at expense of road

MPs Robert Schwarten and Paul Hoolihan will be asked to meet with councillors to thrash out who is going to pay for repairs to a road damaged by contractors building the new Capricorn Coast Hospital and Health Service complex at Yeppoon.

Rockhampton Regional Council has been left with a repair bill estimated at $200,000 at Cottons Road, Bondoola for damage caused by approximately 600 truck movements.

The contractors used the trucks to dump spoil from the hospital site on private land rather than pay the going rate to send it to the council-owned landfill

And councillors were angered this week when they learned Queensland Health had refused to accept responsibility and would not be picking up the tab.

In a reply, Ian Rice, the government’s area director of health planning and infrastructure, suggests the council should submit a claim to the contractors, Woollam Constructions.

Cr Bill Ludwig said it was outrageous that ratepayers should be asked to foot the bill when it was clear where the blame for the damage lay.

“I concede that we can’t leave the road as it is, because there are safety issues and it’s a priority, but I am extremely disappointed with the way this has turned out,” he said.

“We have no alternative but to do the work, but we should send the bill to the government.”

He said the damage should never have occurred if the state government had adopted best practice.

And Cr Glenda Mather said there was an important principal at stake.

“We have to make sure ratepayers are not disadvantaged by this,” she said.

Councillors on the Infrastructure Committee this week agreed to write to Premier Anna Bligh expressing their concern and asking her to review Queensland Health’s refusal.

And they will invite the members for Keppel and Rockhampton to a meeting at the earliest opportunity to seek their support.

Work on the $20.5 million hospital is done and medical staff will start moving in next week. It is not known when it will be officially opened.



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