IN A rather bizarre consequence of the disruptions to shipping caused by the Middle East conflict, Launceston in Tasmania is struggling to complete a hospital helipad.

The helipad, being built at the Launceston General Hospital, was due to be completed in the middle of this year, but because of instability associated with global shipping routes it now won’t be completed until September due to the non-arrival of a crucial lift.

Minister for Health, Mental Health, and Wellbeing in the Tasmanian Government, Guy Barnett, said local builders Vos Construction and Joinery had done an excellent job progressing the important project.

“The Tasmanian Government thanks all those involved in getting the project to where it is today, however, even their professionalism couldn’t foresee the impact of these world events,” Mr Barnett said.

“The conflict-related delays in the Red Sea have impacted the manufacturer’s shipping schedule, and due to the fact the lift has been exactly manufactured to the helipad’s specifications, we have no alternative but to wait for its arrival.

“Work will continue on the helipad and the lift will be installed as soon as it arrives at the LGH site.

“We will continue to keep the community informed with developments to this important project as they occur.” Construction of the $15 million helipad has created almost 300 jobs, the government says. It is to replace a structure which was deemed to be life-expired by December 2023.