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

Ian Bushnell 17 January 2020 24
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.

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24 Responses to Council slams plan to level Woden CIT site for hospital car park
MERC600 MERC600 1:38 pm 22 Jan 20

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 ?

    JC JC 6:35 pm 22 Jan 20

    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”

GrumpyMark GrumpyMark 9:13 am 22 Jan 20

“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.”

    JC JC 6:32 pm 22 Jan 20

    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.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 8:22 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.

Nick Savino Nick Savino 4:30 pm 20 Jan 20

If they were serious they would have free car parks for commuters at the major interchangers Woden Tuggers and Gung with free parking if u completed a trip on my way within that period

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 6:38 pm 22 Jan 20

    Nick Savino unmmmmm. They do.

Amanda Evans Amanda Evans 11:07 am 20 Jan 20

Isn't the Woden campus the same vintage as the Watson campus? Watson was repurposed and I still haven't seen a good argument about why Woden can't be as well.

    Karen Churchill Karen Churchill 4:42 pm 25 Jan 20

    Yep. Same vintage, same building design. I went to school at Watson HIgh and worked at the Woden CIT campus. Don’t see why the building couldn’t be re-purposed. In addition to other advantages, it would be more environmentally sound.

William William William William 4:07 pm 19 Jan 20

That all ready happened at woden now the new Wilson's systems every where no parking any where . We used to have buses but they took them away so now have to walk 45 mins to bus stop, was 5 mins before being a senior parking is gone made all now under Wilson's soon you wont be able to park any where as government sold it all to Wilson's. 🤔🤑🤑🤑

Woden Valley Community Council Woden Valley Community Council 2:19 pm 19 Jan 20

The WVCC would like some transparency around community facility land from the Government. Can Community facility zoned land can be sold to the private sector for a child care centre, a retirement village or residential care accommodation? The WVCC would like some clarity around the policy for asbestos. Friable asbestos can be found in many buildings from the 60s. The Alexander and Albemarle buildings have friable asbestos, were left derelict for 8 years and are now being refurbed. Why can't the Woden Valley High School be refurbed for Allied Health and a hydrotherapy pool to build the centrally located health precinct? When will the Watson High School be demolished?

    Cary Elliot Johnson Cary Elliot Johnson 6:44 am 22 Jan 20

    Woden Valley Community Council the word transparency doesn’t exist when it comes to ACT Health

54-11 54-11 1:47 pm 19 Jan 20

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.

Fiona Carrick Fiona Carrick 1:08 pm 19 Jan 20

This is a temporary carpark, we need a plan for the development of the hospital that has a permanent solution to car parking and traffic congestion.

    Dave Lenihan Dave Lenihan 12:26 am 20 Jan 20

    The whole area is just a mess. Fiona, I think you will find traffic congestion is planned. The 3 sets of lights (strangely not synchronized) on Yamba drive are designed to slow and filter traffic coming from Tuggeranong to allow traffic on Melrose drive a chance to get on to Adelaide Avenue, while this is the traffic measure we have, and it works, it drives me insane the way the ACT Government rabbit on about safety. If safety was their priority the hospital precinct would not be used as a traffic solution. It continues to amaze me a few hundred meters back up Yamba Drive there is a beautiful raised pedestrian walkway spanning 4 lanes between O'Malley and Swingers Hill that is a wonderful safe access for those communities. How good would one be across Yamba Drive for all those people crossing at the lights. Someone said in the post the whole hospital redevelopment was un-planned and ad-hoc, I can only whole heartily agree.

Daniel Howell Daniel Howell 11:52 am 19 Jan 20

I work at the hospital we need way more car spaces its crazy

Annie Wyer Annie Wyer 10:36 am 19 Jan 20

How on earth is Scott Cam going to find places for students recruited under his campaign if we’re going to demolish our CIT campuses?

Fiona Coughtrie Fiona Coughtrie 10:22 am 19 Jan 20

The hospital needs more parking for its staff as I live nearby and see them parking dangerously and illegally every day!

    Mel Sim Mel Sim 4:50 pm 19 Jan 20

    Fiona Michelle yes you’re right... sometimes we have absolutely no other choice and we’re increasingly being fined for it as well when all we need is to park and get to work to care for our patients 🙁

Michael Groenhout Michael Groenhout 10:14 am 19 Jan 20

The Woden campus is completely unusable due to the spray on asbestos riddled throughout the building which is deteriorating. It needs to be demolished.

Unfortunately the same fate won't be far away for its twin sister, the old Watson high. (Watson technology Park)

    Alison Brittliff Alison Brittliff 12:15 pm 19 Jan 20

    Michael Groenhout and it’s been so vandalised, opportunity for purpose built medical buildings

    Robyn Holder Robyn Holder 1:00 pm 19 Jan 20

    Michael Groenhout then knock down rebuild for the Woden CIT.

    Michael Groenhout Michael Groenhout 1:35 pm 19 Jan 20

    Robyn Holder they are. It's been vacant for this reason for a while now

    Fiona Carrick Fiona Carrick 7:59 pm 19 Jan 20

    The new CIT is not on this site. It is on the old police station in the bus interchange.

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