News & Media

Austin Project Reaches Important Milestone

The Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre and Mercy Hospital redevelopment project reached another milestone today with the laying of a foundation stone by the Major Projects Minister, Peter Batchelor and the Health Minister, John Thwaites. The foundation stone marks the movement of the project from the development to the construction stage. It also defines it as one of Victoria’s ‘major projects’, with responsibility for construction transferring to Major Projects Victoria in partnership with the Department of Human Services. The Ministers also unveiled a three-dimensional model of the project, giving Victorians an opportunity to see what the site will look like when construction is finished at the end of 2006. The redevelopment will provide 400 acute beds, a new emergency department, intensive and critical care units, two additional operating theatres, expanded day procedures facilities, improved psychiatric services and Veterans’ mental health facilities, enhanced Repatriation Campus, 62 neonatal intensive care cots and obstetric and gynaecological services. Mr Batchelor said the project was part of the $8.2 billion of major projects the Bracks Government was currently delivering across Victoria. “The redevelopment of the Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre and the relocation of the Mercy Hospital for Women is the largest health project to be undertaken in Victoria,” he said. “At its peak the project will employ 700 people on site and the monthly cash flow will exceed $10 million. “Work has already started on the foundations of the four-storey, 1,200 space car park and two of the three tower cranes have been assembled on the site. Already, 200,000 cubic metres of soil have been excavated to allow for the foundations to be laid.” Mr Thwaites said the project demonstrated the Bracks Government’s commitment to keeping hospitals in public hands and investing in health infrastructure for all Victorians. “The Bracks Government stopped the privatisation of the Austin Hospital and has got on with the job of bringing together the Austin and Mercy Hospitals on the one site to provide world class acute and specialist health facilities. “The foundation stone will be placed within a historical time wall in the shared foyer of the two new hospital buildings, representing the unique co-location of these vital Victorian health facilities.”