14 May 2020

Building boom on way for Canberra Hospital

| Ian Bushnell
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Canberra Hospital

Canberra Hospital: a clutch of projects have been announced. Photo: File.

A flurry of development applications have been submitted for works at the Canberra Hospital campus including a new sexual health centre, expanded Intensive Care Unit and the new temporary car park on the former CIT site in Phillip.

The developments are paving the way for the construction next year of the new emergency, surgical and critical healthcare facility (the SPIRE project).

Building 8 is currently being demolished to make room for a new four-storey building which will house the Canberra Sexual Health Centre as well as training, research and administration functions.

The government says relocation of these functions will ensure that these health services are not disrupted during the building of the new critical healthcare facility.

Local contractors are now being called for to help deliver the purpose-built facility. A tender is due out on Friday.

A development application has already been submitted for Building 8.

Also in train are plans for a almost $13 million expansion of the ICU, with the demolition of part of the existing ICU to extend level 3 by 550 square metres.

The project will an extra eight ICU beds, which will meet demand prior to SPIRE’s completion.

The government says the operation of the current 30-bed ICU will not be disrupted by the construction work, and the expanded area will be re-purposed once the SPIRE development is completed with a new 60-bed ICU.

This part of the hospital is close to Yamba Drive and the project will not affect local residents in regard to urban amenity or traffic flows, it says.

The Commonwealth Government has committed $13.5 million to the project.

Plans have also been lodged for the 1100-bay temporary car park located off Hindmarsh Drive at the former CIT site.

ICU extension

A drawing of the proposed ICU extension. Image: Canberra Town Planning.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said getting on with the job of delivering this project would keep the pipeline of construction works flowing to support employment and ease the economic impacts of COVID-19.

“Building 8 is expected to support more than 100 jobs and 20 local contractors during construction and is part of a significant investment by the ACT Government in city-shaping infrastructure which will create thousands of jobs for our community,” she said.

“As we respond to COVID-19, the ACT Government is also continuing to focus on the delivery of essential health infrastructure, including the expansion of the Canberra Hospital through the SPIRE Project.”

Ms Stephen-Smith said there was still ample opportunity for community input during the project’s design and planning phase.

“The ACT Government is continuously engaging with local residents, clinical staff and consumers to ensure that their expertise and experience contributes to making the Canberra Hospital the best it can be.”

She said the government would hold a virtual meeting of the Local Community Reference Group next week so members could continue to ask questions, provide feedback and be updated on the progress of the expansion of Canberra Hospital.

“There is an opportunity over the next two weeks for the public to comment on the Building 8 Development Application and I encourage anyone who is interested to provide their input and ideas,” she said.

Public submissions on construction of the temporary car park off Hindmarsh Drive will also be able to be made soon.

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