Gungahlin Al has sent in the Gungahlin Community Council’s submission to the ACT Government on why a new hospital should be constructed in the Gungahlin Town Centre.
During our discussion with the Minister, we proposed that the Gungahlin Town Centre has an ideal location for a third hospital, and the Minister confirmed that an assessment by Land and Property Services had confirmed exactly this location as one of the preferred options for a greenfield hospital development. The other sites she discussed were at the corner of Kelleway Ave and Gungahlin Drive Nicholls and on the University of Canberra campus. We dismissed the Nicholls sites as being poorly served by public transport, lacking in local retail amenities, and of high impact on residents. We also expressed concern that the UC site would be putting student needs above those of the patients and their families, and being very close to Calvary would be losing an opportunity to establish a geographic spread of hospital services.
We also explained to the Minister that this site would most likely meet with strong community support, even from people in the community with housing close by. Indeed, through all the media coverage, online discussion through our website and Facebook group, and other meetings and online community efforts, the response we have received has been almost 100 per cent favourable for our proposal.
The land we proposed forms part of the 40 hectare area GCC has been successful in getting rezoned by ACTPLA to zones suiting business park development, as shown below. This location would provide the staff and users of such a hospital with immediate access to the Gungahlin town centre, which is now a fully serviced retail core. This would be very different from the geographic locations of TCH and Calvary – or UC for that matter – in that the distance from local shopping areas leaves users essentially locked into using a single on-site concessionaire.
The location is also on a high-frequency public transport route, with bus services at least every 15 minutes during week days and far more frequent during peaks. It is within a similar driving and public transport range from Civic as the Belconnen and Woden town centres. The soon-to-be-built community health clinic a block away would ensure the hospital can focus on cases of genuine need rather than having the emergency ward filled with the non-urgent presentations that seem to plague other hospitals.