The state opposition has escalated a political contest over the upgrade of the Banksia mental health unit, taking "community concerns" about a lack of beds at the new facility to parliament on Thursday.
The move comes after the Legislative Council voted to force government to release the clinical services plan that is the basis for planning the upgrade of the Banksia Mental Health Unit.
Shadow Minister for Mental Health Tara Moriarty said the community was concerned the new unit "will not add a single new doctor, a new bed or even admit new patients and will not contain any additional mental health services for young people?"
The new unit will include eight new beds, but won't include a single new bed for anyone below the age of 65. Advocates are particularly concerned that what they say is a shortage of services for young people won't be resolved despite the construction of a new unit.
Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the new unit will support about 30 per cent more patients.
"The new facility will have capacity for additional admissions as demand for mental health services grows in coming years," she said.
"It is also envisaged that the new facility will help the service to attract and retain additional staff as well as supporting the existing workforce."
The state upper house voted on Wednesday to order the government to produce a number of documents related to the Banksia upgrade including its clinical services plan.
The government did not oppose the motion by Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MLC Mark Banasiak.
"The plan apparently does not support any new general-purpose or young persons' mental health beds before 2031. No-one has seen the plan, though," he told parliament on Wednesday.
Ms Moriarty told parliament on Wednesday that her office heard complains from desperate families who use the mental health system in the Tamworth region "on a far too regular basis"
"They are calling out for help, particularly for children and young people. There are barely any services for children and young people," she said.
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