Auditor-General report reveals Geraldton Hospital is WA’s most delayed major project, at 58 months late

Anna CoxGeraldton Guardian
The expected completion date for the delay-plagued Geraldton Health Campus redevelopment has again been pushed back.
Camera IconThe expected completion date for the delay-plagued Geraldton Health Campus redevelopment has again been pushed back. Credit: Lisa Favazzo/The Geraldton Guardian

The expected completion date for the delay-plagued Geraldton Health Campus redevelopment has again been pushed back, now standing to be delivered 58 months — or almost five years — late.

The WA Auditor-General’s Transparency Report for major projects was tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, revealing the Geraldton Health Campus is WA’s most delayed project.

It revealed the latest on which major projects had blown their budgets or timelines, with the 58-month gap between the original completion date and the latest estimate of January 2027 for the Geraldton hospital upgrade being the longest of any of the 20 projects audited. The average delay for other projects examined in the report was 21 months.

The hospital redevelopment was promised during Mark McGowan’s campaign for Premier in 2017 — making the proposed finish date an entire decade after its conception.

The delays have been attributed to ongoing problems in securing a tender to construct the new facility.

The procurement process is in progress with the evaluation of responses currently being assessed, and three tenderers have been shortlisted.

“During the next year the project with progress with the contractor award (expected late October 2023) and on design development and engagement with stakeholders expected to start in December 2023,” the report states.

A spokesperson for Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said: “The Government continues to monitor market conditions in the construction sector”.

The minister failed to answer whether there would be further delays.

The Auditor-General’s report indicates the project is on track with its budget.

The refurbishment was initially forecast to be finished at the end of 2022 and had a budget of $73.3 million. The existing project budget now sits at $122.66m, with an estimated completion in January 2027.

The previous amended completion date of August 2024 was revised to be January 2027 after the original procurement process failed to award a contract.

Shadow regional health spokesman Martin Aldridge said: “Labor (continues) to kick the can down the road year on year, leaving Mid West residents fed up with the lack of progress,” he said.

“Labor’s decision to put the project to tender with unrealistic project costs has resulted in the most lengthy procurement process I’ve ever witnessed, and one which is still not completed.”

During recent State Budget estimates hearings, Ms Sanderson said construction would still start before the end of this year, but Mr Aldridge said that promise “grows more and more doubtful with each passing day”.

The Auditor-General’s report states budgeted expenditure for the project in June 2023 was $41.76m, but the actual expenditure was recorded as $18.90m — coming in under budget due to a fruitless procurement process.

It also states the project delivery time was “a sound approach in the circumstances to aligning project works with the capacity of the construction industry to deliver”.

Member for the Agricultural Region Steve Martin said regional projects were “out of sight and out of mind” and needed to be prioritised by the Health Minister and Premier.

The hospital redevelopment is set to include a new emergency department and integrated mental health services.


2017 election campaign: Labor Party makes election commitment to redevelop Geraldton Health Campus

May 2018: Funding announced

July 2019: Funding approved

March 2022: Original approved completion date

May 2022: Project increased from $73.3m to $122.7m

August 2024: Prior approved completion date

October 2023: Contract expected to be awarded

December 2023: Works expected to start

January 2027: Current approved completion date

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