Esperance St John begin early research stage for new sub centre

Early research is underway to explore replacing or expanding the St John Ambulance Esperance Sub Centre. 

St John Ambulance Goldfields regional director Braden Fisher said the Esperance committee had identified that their current, 60 year-old facility was not going to meet their ongoing needs.

Mr Fisher said while expanding the existing site was an option, finding a new site and constructing a new sub centre was currently the preferred option.

“The most favourable option at this stage is to pursue a new build on a new parcel of land,” he said.

Mr Fisher said when he was in Esperance during the first week of August, he commenced a feasibility to be prepared by the local centre for the St John Ambulance WA board to consider.

He said the study would entail what the centre believed were their needs

“It’s a first stage in a project to see if it’s got merit to get off the ground,” Mr Fisher said.

“If the board deem the feasibility worthwhile to continue exploring options, we go into a planning stage.

“We would probably look to secure a parcel of land so we would know where any build would be.

“Then we would look at the funding mechanisms of how we would make it work.”

Funding sources could include state or federal government contributions, contribution from the Esperance Sub Centre and donations from other sources in the Esperance region.

Mr Fisher said the main issue with the current site was that it was too small for their current operation.

“The garage where the ambulances are housed is not big enough,” he said.

Mr Fisher estimated getting a new sub centre could be a three to five year project.

He said he hoped the feasibility study would be submitted to the St John board in the next month.

St John Ambulance community paramedic Paul Gaughan said the project was at a very early stage.

“It’s really just a matter of recognition that we've outgrown our existing premises,” he said.

Mr Gaughan said the growing business of St John and the growing population of Esperance had contributed to the current site no longer being able to meet the demands of the local volunteers and staff.