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Gungahlin wants a hospital

By johnboy - 18 April 2011 25

concept drawing

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.

What’s Your opinion?


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25 Responses to
Gungahlin wants a hospital
benjee 4:13 pm 18 Apr 11

Good idea, but I live in Gungahlin and haven’t been able to go anywhere for three years. I’m actually paved into the GDE, got stuck there for a few weeks one day and got turned into road. Imagine an ambulance, lights flashing, sirens blaring, sitting stationary on the GDE…

Keijidosha 3:08 pm 18 Apr 11

Okay, so initially I thought the idea of a hospital in Gungahlin was mildly misguided due to transport logistics. After checking Gunghalin Al’s link to the proposed site I’m no more convinced.

Gungahlin Al said :

Near horizons… You are looking at the northside as it is now. We are looking at the northside with another 60,000 people all to the north, west and east of the existing town centre – Ngunnawal, Casey, Jacka, Bonner, Forde, Throsby, Kenny. Plus a fair few to go into North Watson.

True, but the site you are proposing is not even close to the geographical centre of the region. Yes the sardine density of Gunghalin means your location is closer to the population centre, but this will only exacerbate access issues. It is a struggle to navigate the town centre at present with about half of the proposed population, how much worse will it get once Gunghalin is finished?!

For mine I would plonk it somewhere around the southern end of Mitchell with dedicated access to the GDE/Barton Highway and possible priority access to the Federal Highway.

Chop71 3:01 pm 18 Apr 11

Gungahlin Al said :

And I have no delusions about Gungahlin’s role in the scheme of things. I’m just doing my best to make it a better place for my kids to grow up in.

and likewise I am doing the same. I just believe that a Calvary/UC Belconnen site is more centrally located to suite all Canbera residents north and west of the lake.

puggy 2:17 pm 18 Apr 11

Gee you people are negative. If Gundaroo & WIlliam Slim get to four lanes as is the plan (according to GCC’s facebook page) then that would go some way to aleviate access issues. The Calvary site has good access, but there’s one problem: Calvary. It’s already there. Have a look at a map to see how far north Gungahlin is planned to stretch. By that time, the Gungahlin site looks like a good place.

I am a bit worried though. The land is there for the buildings, but what of the required parking?

Gungahlin Al 2:17 pm 18 Apr 11

Thanks for the feedback folks.

JC said :

Any new hospital has to be central to ALL of North Canberra, just like TCH is central to all of South Canberra. A hospital in Gungahlin town Centre would not fit this bill in any way shape or form.

Chop71 said :

Sorry, your pretty pics and ideas do not match the trip for North Canberra and Belconnen residents to Gungahlin. Al, you can live in your bubble and think the world revolves around Gunners but the Calvary site is right next to Belconnen Way and GDE – very easy for all Northside residents to get too.

Near horizons… You are looking at the northside as it is now. We are looking at the northside with another 60,000 people all to the north, west and east of the existing town centre – Ngunnawal, Casey, Jacka, Bonner, Forde, Throsby, Kenny. Plus a fair few to go into North Watson.

Chop, the renderings were done by ACPLA as part of their Planning Report for the Gungahlin Town Centre Master Planning Study. They may be basic but their intention was to demonstrate the potential scale and massing possible for the site given the draft planning requirements. I included them in the submission for the same purpose – there are many people involved in this process who would have little idea what is planned for our town centre. And I have no delusions about Gungahlin’s role in the scheme of things. I’m just doing my best to make it a better place for my kids to grow up in.

Bluey said :

Where exactly is this block of land near the G that would fit a hospital?

Hopefully this Maps link will zoom in on the spot well enough for you – immediately east of the intersection of Flemington Road and Kate Crace Street. The need 10ha. We have 39.5ha.:
http://maps.google.com.au/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Gungahlin+Australian+Capital+Territory&ll=-35.186607,149.141003&spn=0.00306,0.004672&t=h&z=18

Bluey 1:27 pm 18 Apr 11

Where exactly is this block of land near the G that would fit a hospital?

Chop71 12:35 pm 18 Apr 11

… and a 5 year old with lego can make a design like that one ……

Chop71 12:34 pm 18 Apr 11

Sorry, your pretty pics and ideas do not match the trip for North Canberra and Belconnen residents to Gungahlin. Al, you can live in your bubble and think the world revolves around Gunners but the Calvary site is right next to Belconnen Way and GDE – very easy for all Northside residents to get too.

dvaey 12:32 pm 18 Apr 11

KB1971 said :

Does Gungahlin need a hospital like Tuggeranong needs a Uni?

The more pressing question, is does Canberra need a second unbiased acute healthcare provider? The answer to that is yes. The only question remains where to put it. Tuggeranong is already served by TCH, Queanbeyan area is served, the only void remains in the north.

With most of the Belconnen area already developed, a new development on the scale of this, needs a large undeveloped greenfield area, which seemingly Gungahlin has lots of. With the population growing in a northerly direction, it makes sense to place a second hospital in that vacinity.

JC 12:28 pm 18 Apr 11

Any new hospital has to be central to ALL of North Canberra, just like TCH is central to all of South Canberra.

A hospital in Gungahlin town Centre would not fit this bill in any way shape or form.

Holden Caulfield 12:02 pm 18 Apr 11

Gerry-Built said :

…and perhaps it is an opportunity to better develop transport corridors…

The opportunity isn’t lacking, really, just the impetus to seize on the opportunity, haha. A hospital could certainly provide that impetus.

KB1971 11:52 am 18 Apr 11

Does Gungahlin need a hospital like Tuggeranong needs a Uni?

beejay76 11:20 am 18 Apr 11

Great work, GCC! It would be fab to see it get up.

Gerry-Built 10:50 am 18 Apr 11

Interesting concept. Is there any reason that the hospital couldn’t be part of a mixed-use precinct? For example, shops at ground level, studio apartments and offices from ground to level 3, hospital 4-6? Obviously an emergency department, day procedures, and walk in clinic would need ground level access, but do other facilities?

If there is truly demand for a 3rd hospital, this seems like a good way to do it…

Oh, how are local residents going to like the sound of frequent helicopter appearances?

…and perhaps it is an opportunity to better develop transport corridors…

Keijidosha 10:37 am 18 Apr 11

I respect the work that Al and the GCC put into their plot, but putting any large public ammenity in Gungahlin is a folly until the transport woes of the area are fixed.

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