Okay so many of my followers from across the pond in America or even those from the Eastern States of Australia or wherever you are reading this from, may not know about the current situation with the Elizabeth Quay. So I’ll give you some background information on it.
The Elizabeth Quay is a development in he city of Perth that cost the state government $440 million however they expected to recover $134 million in property sales. This is money that the government can not afford to be spending. These are the facts. The mining boom is over people, we can’t continue to spend the mass amounts of money because it will soon be gone.
Right from the start the Elizabeth Quay was a disaster. It was over budget and was continually delayed. Those weren’t the only problems with the project. First of all the problems with the location. Riverside Drive (where this project is located) is one of the main roads in the city of Perth and closing it down for construction nearly collapsed the entire transportation system as none of the roads are big enough to accommodate for the thousands upon thousands of people who se Riverside Drive every single day. In addition to this all the local businesses that operated in the area lost millions of dollars in revenue and many went bankrupt because the construction cut of access to the shops for both Pedestrian and vehicle traffic. When they asked the government and the construction project for information on when they could reopen their businesses or eve if they were entitled to compensation for their losses they were rejected at every turn. Even though they were promised that any losses due to government construction would be compensated for the state government.
Similarly the project will cause more devastation to local businesses particularly during winter. Riverside Drive floods every single winter due to the water level of the river rising so the government decides to bring the river further into the city. How stupid can you be? What’s worse is that they were warned by the researchers and planners of the project that it would cause flooding and suggested that banking be added to prevent he flooding. This was denied and Barnet continued with the project anyway.
So despite the many problems and mass opposition to the project it was completed earlier this year. Now I could deal with the other problems largely because they were temporary problems that didn’t really cause much damage. However now there is a much larger issue. Included in this development is a free water playground for children and adults alike. It’s Australia in summer the average temperature is around 40 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Farinheight). It sounds like a great idea doesn’t it. It was until they opened it. There was bacteria found in the water which was causing red rashes and burns on the children that played in the water so it was closed. Then the government decides to reopen it telling people that the water is safe.
After a heat wave, the department expanded its testing regime to include bacterium found in warmer water, and which could cause eye, ear and nose infections.
Initial test results on February 14 showed the bacterium known as Pseudomonas aeruginosa was present only in surface water at the park, but results eight days later showed it had spread throughout the system, and was being sprayed on park users.
Health Minister Kim Hames concedes that public health was placed at risk.
“When that organism spread into the balance tank from the time of doing that testing on the 18th and closing on the 22nd, then yes, people were exposed to that Pseudomonas,” he said.
“So, there’s not a large risk but there is a risk, and we’ve had two people come forward to say they’re affected.”
Dr Hames was forced to correct earlier information he had provided to Parliament suggesting that Pseudomonas aeruginosa had not been found until test results were reviewed on February 22.
Department ‘acted reasonably’ dealing with threat
Despite the delay and the exposure of park users to the bacterium, Dr Hames insisted the Health Department acted responsibly and reasonably after the initial detection of the organism.
He said the department had applied routine procedures used for public pools across the state.
“The standard evidence before them was that pseudomonas should have been treated by the normal management of that pool system,” he said.
Given the initial detection was on the surface, and not in the so-called balance tanks used to feed the water sprays, Dr Hames said the department believed the normal cleaning process would solve the problem.
“It is absolutely reasonable for them to expect, as in most other cases around the state where pseudomonas is discovered, that those treatment systems were working,” he said.
According to the report, a new round of water samples were tested on February 18.
Four days later, they showed the bacterium had spread.
“These results were received on 22nd of February 2016 showed that pseudomonas was being detected throughout the system, and importantly in the balance tank where water would be returned for direct contract with patrons,” the report said.
“On advice from the Environmental Health Directorate about the results and the evidence that the system was unable to cope with the microbial loading, the Executive Director Public Health acted to close the facility immediately.”
Park to stay closed until filtration upgrade
Opposition Planning spokeswoman Rita Saffioti said it proved there were serious structural issues with the design and operation of the park.
“What happened is that the water cleaning system wasn’t strong enough,” she said.
Dr Hames said the park would remain closed until the filtering system had been upgraded to effectively cope with high numbers of people using the facility.
“The alternative is to restrict the numbers of people using the park to 150 but we don’t want to stop people who want to use the park, from being able to use it,” he said.
The Opposition also seized on another document tabled by the Minister indicating that water tests the day before the park was opened required “immediate public health action.”
Ms Saffioti said it showed the Government pushed ahead and rushed the opening despite health concerns.
Dr Hames rejected that criticism, and said the health action was taken by super-chlorinating the water overnight to make safe for opening day on January 29.
When they did reopen it on January 29 tragedy struck when a 5 year old little girl developed an infection in her eye from playing at the playground. The girl Chelsea Fawcett, was hospitalised and is partially blind. Doctors at PMH are working to try and restore her vision but it is not yet known whather they will be successful. A warning the image is quite graffic. Discretion is advised.
Her parents have decided to sue the State Government for the damage that they have done to this poor little girl and Slater and Gordon have taken the case.
Ironic isn’t it that a Law Firm has more integrity than the State Government. The park has since been closed but there are plans t reopen it.