Karratha Health Campus a Recipe for Disaster

Wednesday 17 September

Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC has criticised the planned location for the new Karratha Health Campus, at which earthworks have already begun, as irresponsible and totally ignorant of climate facts.

Mr Chapple said it was irresponsible to base the safety of the site on 500-year storm surge data as this system did not take into account climate change.

“This is fundamentally a bad site to build a hospital,” he said.

“We have seen, and will continue to see, an exponential increase in climatic events throughout Western Australia.

“These climatic events are changing swiftly in their nature, becoming more extreme and less predictable.

“In the case of an extreme weather event the hospital, the lifeline for all those people affected, will be the first building to be wiped out; it’s completely exposed.”

Mr Chapple said the government should be taking every precaution with new infrastructure in Karratha if it wanted to maintain the long-term sustainability of the city.

“Just 2000 years ago this whole North side of town, all the way to the hills, was completely under water,” he said.

“Climate change is fact, we will continue to see an increase in the frequency and severity of weather events in Northern Australia, and we will almost certainly see a rise in sea levels.

“Only when governments and councils acknowledge and properly address the rapidly approaching doom will we have any chance of managing and mitigating its effects.”

Mr Chapple also said the site’s location was worrying because of its proximity to the ill-fated Pelago towers.

“There is speculation about the stability of the ground at the site,” he said.

“In particular, we are trying to ascertain whether the Pelago towers 1 and 2 are settling and what effects this could have on both the towers themselves and any new infrastructure, such as the proposed health campus.”

A report released today by The Climate Council, titled ‘Counting the Costs: Climate Change and Coastal Flooding’, has outlined more clearly than ever before the potential fiscal impacts of climate change on coastal populations.

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255.

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