Media statement: Perth Children’s Hospital

John Holland has today confirmed that it will proceed to court to recoup hundreds of millions in outstanding payments from the WA Government. After two years of discussions, where the Government has failed to fairly compensate John Holland for late and significant changes to the Perth Children’s Hospital contract, John Holland has reluctantly made the decision to seek a resolution through the court process. 

A John Holland spokesperson said that despite continued attempts by the company to resolve the issue in good faith, the State had not been willing to negotiate fairly, leaving no other option than to proceed with costly litigation.

The award-winning Perth Children’s Hospital is one of the most technologically advanced and complex construction projects ever undertaken in Australia and one which John Holland is proud to have delivered to the people of Western Australia. The WA Government now wants to have the benefit of those changes without fairly compensating John Holland for the work.

The spokesperson said that despite the hospital now delivering world class, patient-focused outcomes to the children and parents of Western Australia, the construction process had been marred by extensive and late State design and construction changes that resulted in the government’s budget blowing out.

The changes ensured the WA public received a world-class health facility that was far superior to the hospital planned and budgeted for by the State.

The exhaustive list of State changes caused major delays and added up to hundreds of millions of dollars of extra work for which John Holland was not fairly compensated by the State under the contract.

“John Holland has at all times complied with the conditions of the contract, which prevented the company from speaking to the media or other third parties and presenting our side of the story to the people of Western Australia.”

“That decision also recognises John Holland’s ongoing wish to resolve the matter in good faith and to avoid entering into potentially costly litigation.”

The announcement follows revelations that the State Government had previously made two separate offers of $12m and $20m to John Holland in 2018 to settle John Holland’s entitlements. These offers were rejected by John Holland as manifestly inadequate in light of the Government owing more than $300 million.

John Holland said that after exhausting all avenues to arrive at a fair settlement the company had now been left with no other option than to take the matter through the courts which was both regrettable and costly for all concerned.