Minister for Health and Ambulance Services
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath
Cairns-based WIP Qld Pty Ltd has been appointed contractor for the construction of a new $7 million primary healthcare centre and associated staff accommodation on Mer (Murray) Island in the Torres Strait.
Health and Ambulance Services Minister Yvette D’Ath said WIP expected to be onsite at Mer Island in the coming weeks, with construction of the new facility expected to be completed by mid-2023, weather permitting.
Ms D’Ath said the new primary healthcare centre would have improved patient areas and provision for the use of the most up to date health technology.
“There will be two treatment rooms and a number of consulting rooms, as well as administration and storage space,’’ she said.
“The new centre is designed to a high level of resiliency with provision of water storage and backup electricity generators to continue supporting the community during local disasters.
“This is another sign of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to delivering improved health care facilities for First Nations Queenslanders in the Torres Strait.”
Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the project also will involve replacement of existing staff accommodation at the health centre with a new 2 x 3-bedroom duplex and a separate 2-bedroom unit.
“The new primary healthcare centre would be built adjacent to the existing facility, while the new staff accommodation would be built on the site of the existing staff accommodation,” Ms Lui said.
“Health staff on Mer Island will be relocated to temporary accommodation, while the existing accommodation is demolished, and the new accommodation built.
“These improvements to staff accommodation will ensure the Torres and Cape HHS can continue to attract and retain staff to Mer Island.
“It will also help accommodate a growing range of visiting health professionals delivering more specialised services to the communities.
“Coburn Architecture consulted widely with the community to select a colour and material palette for the new primary healthcare centre which will connect the building to the local environment and the Meriam culture of the island.
“The timber screens on two frontages are painted in graduated colours relating to two of the seasonal winds representing the wet season (Koki) and dry season (Sager) and traditional activities associated with each season.
“The vibrant colours of the façade are teamed with neutral colours and materials to create a welcoming and calming environment.’’
The existing primary healthcare centre will continue delivering services without disruption throughout the construction period, which will support about 26 direct and indirect jobs.
The Mer Island works form part of a package of more than $100 million worth of capital projects for the Torres and Cape HHS either completed in the past four years or currently under way. Ongoing projects include:
- $36 million redevelopment of Thursday Island Hospital
- $8.86 million multiple works at Weipa Integrated Health Service for a new CT scanner, new birthing unit, new primary healthcare clinic, relocated pharmacy and renal dialysis unit and air-conditioning and chiller upgrade
- $1.9 million – Northern primary healthcare centres generator upgrades.
Media contact: Martin Philip 0407 675 008