17 January 2020

Council slams plan to level Woden CIT site for hospital car park

| Ian Bushnell
Join the conversation
Former Woden CIT buildings

The former Woden CIT buildings should be refurbished, says Woden Valley Community Council. Photo: File.

Plans to demolish the former Woden CIT campus and build a temporary car park on the site to support the SPIRE project at Canberra Hospital have been labelled short-sighted and part of an ad hoc approach to developing the hospital precinct.

The Woden Valley Community Council (WVCC) says the move, announced on Friday by Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith, will mean opportunities to refurbish the site and locate allied health services there as part of the hospital precinct will be lost, despite the government saying the zoning for the site will remain for community use.

WVCC president Fiona Carrick said the government had not been transparent about its plans for the hospital precinct and the community had been left out in the cold.

“There is no planning about what to do with that site,” she said. “They just fob us off saying it will be community facility land, and who knows what that means? Why is this happening before we even have a precinct plan for the hospital precinct?

“If you knock down those buildings now you take away the opportunities, because when will they ever have enough money in the budget to rebuild?”

Ms Carrick said there could be a staged process for rebirthing the campus, including the building of a new hydrotherapy pool.

But Ms Stephen-Smith said refurbishment was considered but the buildings were found to contain friable asbestos and demolition was recommended as the most sensible option.

She said the Government would work with the community to consider options for future use of the site after SPIRE was completed.

The government says the new surface car park’s more than 1100 additional parking spaces will benefit hospital staff, visitors and construction workers while the new emergency, surgical and critical healthcare facility and other projects are being constructed over the next fours.

Ms Stephen-Smith said the car park would include appropriate security and shuttle bus services.

Demolition will start in the first quarter of 2020, with construction of the car park to begin mid-year. It is expected to open before the main SPIRE works start next year. The SPIRE project is due to be completed in 2024.

“We will continue to investigate long-term parking solutions at the Canberra Hospital campus as part of the Master Planning process. Input from hospital staff, consumers and local residents will be an important part of this process,” said Ms Stephen-Smith.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

I notice a few comments on ‘Wilson Parking’.
I recently went to John James for a visit . There are more large Wilson Parking signs their that make it look the joint has been renamed Wilson Parking. Who are they anyway ?

They are the company that the private hospital has contacted to manage THEIR carpark.

Unlike some here who get their knickers in a knot over Wilson thinking they own carparks or are taking over government carparks, the imaging business in the Peter Yorke building at John James has it right.

They have a sign that more or less says got issues with carparking complain to those who run John James hospital as they are the ones “responsible”

“The government says the new surface car park’s more than 1100 additional parking spaces will benefit hospital staff, visitors and construction workers …” – they forgot to add “… at exorbitant cost, which will benefit our corporate partners, Wilson Parking, to whom we are progressively outsourcing management of ACT car parks.”

FYI the ACT government hasn’t outsourced or sold off a single government carpark to Wilson’s.

In fact Wilson’s don’t own any carparks, they are a company that manages them on behalf of the owners.

HiddenDragon8:22 pm 20 Jan 20

“Ms Stephen-Smith said the car park would include appropriate security “

The muggers and other crims will doubtless be shaking in their boots.

The hospital has never had a master plan for the TCH site and surrounds. About 15 years ago, after yet another ad hoc proposal, which TCH said was in accordance with the master plan. the community asked to see this plan. Turned out it never existed – it was all bullshit.

Given that the decision has been made to redevelop the CIT site, it is best that it be demolished quickly, otherwise it will just become a haven for druggies, vandals and graffiti “artists”.

Any promise by the Minister to “work with the community” is worth less than a pinch of the proverbial – the Barr government and its predecessors never have before and there is no way they are going to start now.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.